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Church does not want ‘dirty money’, says Pope

Pope Francis arrives for a weekly general audience at St Peter's square on March 2, 2016 at the Vatican. / AFP / VINCENZO PINTO

Pope Francis arrives for a weekly general audience at St Peter’s square on March 2, 2016 at the Vatican. / AFP / VINCENZO PINTO

THE Catholic Church does not want people to donate “dirty money” earned by abusing low-paid workers, Pope Francis said yesterday.

“Some donors come to the Church offering profits from the blood of people who have been exploited, mistreated, enslaved with badly paid work,” Francis said during his regular weekly audience with pilgrims at the Vatican.

“I will say to them: ‘Please take your money away, burn it’,” said Francis, who has made safeguarding the poor and cleaning up Vatican finances central tenets of his papacy.

“The people of God… do not need dirty money, they need hearts that are open to God’s mercy,” he said.

The pope has branded money “the dung of the devil” and condemned the evils of unbridled capitalism, prompting criticism from some United States business leaders.

Francis has increased the power of the Vatican’s financial intelligence authority (AIF) but the European finance watchdog, Moneyval, said last year the Holy See still needed to be much more aggressive in prosecuting financial crimes.



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