Pope Francis called on Catholics around the world to pray during the month of May for the regulation of financial markets to “protect citizens from its dangers.”
“Finance, if not regulated, becomes pure speculation animated by monetary policies,” said the pontiff in a video message released on May 4.
“This situation is unsustainable,” he said. “It’s dangerous.”
Pope Francis urged the faithful to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary “to prevent the poor from paying the consequences” of “financial speculation,” saying that it “must be strictly regulated.”
He urged Catholics to pray “that those responsible for finance will collaborate with governments to regulate financial markets and protect citizens from its dangers.”
“Speculation. I want to emphasize this term,” said the pope. “Finance is a tool of service, a tool to serve people and to take care of the common home,” he added.
The church leader said the world “still have time to start a process of global change to put into practice a different, more just, inclusive, sustainable economy that leaves no one behind.”
The Worldwide Prayer Network, which prepares the pontiff’s monthly video message, said in a statement that Pope Francis expressed his concern for buoyant markets amid the inequalities worsened by the pandemic.
The statement noted a sharp drop in the Global Gross Domestic Product last year since the end of the Second World War.
In a recent letter to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Pope Francis lamented the exclusion from financial markets of people on the margins of society.
“Market freedom and pure speculation cannot solve this kind of problem since they don’t consider the inequalities of the social fabric,” read the statement from the prayer network.