Pope Francis Decries Global Exclusion of the Poor, Calls for ‘Legitimate Redistribution’

Pope Francis called Friday for governments around the world to serve the poor and to encourage generosity by helping curb the “economy of exclusion” that relegates many to second-class citizenship.

He also addressed the “throwaway culture” and the “culture of death” — similar themes he’s decried in the past, making these appeals during a speech to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of major U.N. agencies who are meeting in Rome this week.

Pope Francis greets couples gathered in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Pope Francis met a group of engaged couples on Valentine's Day. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino) AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
Pope Francis greets couples gathered in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino) 

Francis called for the United Nations to promote a “worldwide ethical mobilization” of solidarity with the poor in a new spirit of generosity.

“I do not hesitate to state, as did my predecessors, that equitable economic and social progress can only be attained by joining scientific and technical abilities with an unfailing commitment to solidarity accompanied by a generous and disinterested spirit of gratuitousness at every level,” Francis said.

The pontiff continued, “A contribution to this equitable development will also be made both by international activity aimed at the integral human development of all the world’s peoples and by the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society.

Francis added that “an important part of humanity” isn’t able to share in the progress that is unfolding and is, thus, relegated to a second-class citizenry. Read his full comments here.

The pope has denied he’s Marxist and spent years in Argentina battling Marxist excesses of liberation theology, as TheBlaze has extensively documented. He has said from the outset, though, that he wants a church that “is poor and for the poor” and ministers to the most marginal of society — a common theme in Christian circles and theology.

Pope Francis greets faithful as he leaves St. Stanislaus church in Rome, Sunday, May 4, 2014. Pope Francis celebrated a mass for the Polish community in honor of newly sainted Pope John Paul II. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Francis has frequently spoken out about inequality. He recently tweeted that it is “the root of social evil.” And as TheBlaze’s Becket Adams reported last year, the pontiff rebuked the culture of profit at any cost when he issued a 224-page mission statement for his papacy, saying that mankind is called first to care for his neighbor and the poor.

“Money must serve, not rule!” read Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”), the second major teaching document issued by Francis. “The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor.”

On Friday, Francis urged the U.N. to promote development goals that attack the root causes of poverty and hunger, protect the environment and ensure “dignified” labor for all.

“Not for the first time, Pope Francis seeks to renew man’s commitment to his brother. Not as a political platform or ideological crutch, but as the reality of our lives together here,” National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote of Friday’s address. “Let that inform our politics: a commitment to human dignity, to help men and women flourish. To keep challenging ourselves, to only want what works to help our brothers and sisters flourish.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.