[Papal Visit] Pope warns against materialism in first sermon

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Aug 15, 2014 - 17:20
  • Updated : Aug 16, 2014 - 10:12
In his first sermon to his flock in Korea on Friday, Pope Francis warned against materialism and limitless competition, urging them to pay more attention to people on the margins of society.

“May they combat the allure of a materialism that stifles authentic spiritual and cultural values and the spirit of unbridled competition which generates selfishness and strife,” the pope said in his Italian-language homily during a Mass on the feast day of the Assumption of Mary in Daejeon.

It was his first public Mass since his arrival here Thursday for a five-day apostolic visit.

“May they also reject inhuman economic models which create new forms of poverty and marginalize workers,” he also said.

The message resonates with Koreans, whose country is struggling with the side effects of its breakneck transformation from rags to riches including a high suicide rate, a low birthrate, a widening income gap and low public trust in the authority.

It follows his call for peace the previous day on the divided Korean Peninsula, which is still gripped by Cold War geopolitics.

In his sermon Friday, the pontiff also urged the country to reject “the culture of death” that violates the dignity of mankind.

“As Korean Catholics, heirs to a noble tradition, you are called to cherish this legacy and transmit it to future generations. This will demand of everyone a renewed conversion to the word of God and a passionate concern for the poor, the needy and the vulnerable in our midst,” he said. 

By Lee Sun-young

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