Catholic Church should not eye riches, says Pope

Vatican City, June 12 (IANS/AKI) The Catholic Church should not seek to accumulate wealth, as this makes the church “lifeless”, Pope Francis has said.

“If we want a rich Church, then the Church ages, it has no life,” Francis said during a mass at the Vatican hotel.

St. Peter did not have a bank account, Francis said.

“And when he (Peter) had to pay his taxes, God sent him to fish in the sea and found money inside the fish with which to pay,” the pontiff said.

The Catholic Church is not a charity, the Pope said, but “is something else, something more important and it is born of gratuitousness of which poverty is a sign”.

Poverty is the Church’s distinguishing feature and “saves us from becoming organisers and entrepreneurs,” Francis said.

The Argentine pontiff has frequently voiced concern for the poor and needy in his homilies, and shown a marked preference for simplicity, shunning papal trappings such as a solid gold cross and fisherman’s ring.

–IANS/AKI

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