Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga prays at St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York. RNS photo by Gregory A. Shemitz.
Taking direct aim at libertarian policies promoted by many American conservatives, the Honduran cardinal who is one of Pope Francis’ top advisers said Tuesday that today’s free market system is “a new idol” that is increasing inequality and excluding the poor.
“This economy kills,” said Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, quoting Francis frequently in a speech delivered at a conference on Catholicism and libertarianism held a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol.
The pope, Maradiaga said, grew up in Argentina and “has a profound knowledge of the life of the poor.” That is why, he said, Francis continues to insist that “the elimination of the structural causes for poverty is a matter of urgency that can no longer be postponed.”
“The hungry or sick child of the poor cannot wait,” the cardinal said.