UNFETTERED capitalism is a cause of conflict that damages the world, Pope Benedict said yesterday in his New Year mass.
The head of the Roman Catholic church decried “hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor”.
He also denounced “the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated capitalism, various forms of terrorism and criminality”.
In a separate message to mark the church’s world day of peace, the Pope called for a new economic model that moves on from the current aim of “seeking maximum profit and consumption” at the expense of the wider social good, coupled with ethical regulations for markets.
The pontiff said the financial crisis created greater inequality and proved that capitalism frequently fails to protect the weakest in society.
The 85-year-old Pope has long been a critic of modern capitalism, often attacking the system in speeches and articles for its perceived short-sighted nature and ethical shortcomings.