Print Version    Email to Friend
Free market does not justify poverty and violence


ISTANBUL (AsiaNews): “Glory be to God on high and peace to people of good will,” the angels sang in announcing the birth of Our Lord, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople notes in his Christmas homily for 2012.

He goes on to say that sadly, our earth is still a battleground, because humans continue to reject the message of the Lord, which urges us to obey his will and message of peace.

Patriarch Bartholomew said that humans continue to stand out for the fanaticism of their religious and political beliefs and greedy quest for material goods. This explains why political action and behaviour are aggressive and the root of so many conflicts.

Although the Roman emperor, Constantine the Great, issued the Edict of Toleration in 313 on matters of religious faith, granting Christians freedom of worship, Christian minorities continue to be persecuted even today.

“Economic conflict and the ephemeral pursuit of wealth as the goal of human existence continue to grow,” Patriarch Bartholomew said. “Sadly, the consequence is the concentration of wealth in the hands of a small minority and the ensuing impoverishment of most of the world’s population.”

He added that what some see as an unfair distribution of resources is actually a moral crisis, which is not given proper attention or due recognition. He points out that some have even tried to justify it in the name of the free market.

However, for Patriarch Bartholomew, the free market should not tolerate crime, even when outside criminal law. “Anyone who takes what belongs to others, whatever their means or pretext, commits a crime, undermining peace and social cohesion,” he said.

Speaking from the Fanar, the historic headquarters of Orthodox Christianity, the patriarch said that Christians are concerned witnesses of the times and the growing number conflicts.

“For this reason, our wish is for the New Year to be characterised by human solidarity, as the great fathers of the Church always taught us,” he noted.

“Every person of goodwill must look in that direction,” the ecumenical patriarch said, “first and foremost spiritual leaders, so that the peace of Our Lord, who was born today, may reign, because the charity and peace that have always characterised the action of the disciples of Our Lord may contribute to human solidarity and coexistence.”


More from this section