FaithWorld

Mega salaries are evil, papal preacher tells Vatican Good Friday service

April 18, 2014

(Pope Francis lies on the ground as he prays during the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican April 18, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer)

The Vatican’s official preacher, at a Good Friday service attended by Pope Francis, said huge salaries and the world financial crisis were modern evils caused by the “cursed hunger for gold”.

The pope presided at a “Passion of the Lord” service in St. Peter’s Basilica, the first of two papal events on the day Christians around the world commemorate Jesus’ death by crucifixion.

The long service is one of the few times during the year that the pope listens while someone else preaches.

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, whose title is “preacher of pontifical household,” weaved his sermon around the character of Judas Iscariot, who the Bible says betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

“Behind every evil in our society is money, or at least in part,” Cantalamessa said at the solemn service that included chanting by priests recounting the last hours of Jesus’ life.

“The financial crisis that the world has gone through and that this country (Italy) is still going through – is it not in large part due to the cursed hunger for gold?” he said.

“Is it not also a scandal that some people earn salaries and collect pensions that are sometimes 100 times higher than those of the people who work for them and that they raise their voices to object when a proposal is put forward to reduce their salary for the sake of greater social justice?” he said.

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