Pope Francis warns of the dangers of ‘messianic’ solutions to a crisis

In a lengthy interview with an Argentine public outlet, he also spoke out against worker exploitation

Less than a week before Argentina’s presidential elections, Pope Francis warned about those who offer “messianic” solutions to a crisis, saying that the way out is never individual. He also spoke against labor exploitation, saying that if workers have no rights, they are being enslaved.

“We were all inexperienced young people once, and sometimes young boys and girls hold onto miracles, to a Messiah, to things being solved in a messianic way,” the pope said in an interview with public news agency Télam. 

“There is only one Messiah who saved us all. The rest are all clowns of messianism,” he said, adding that “the only way out of a crisis is upward” and that the solution is “never individual.”

“A crisis is like a voice telling us where to act. On the contrary, problems that are put away are like the Pied Piper of Hamelin. You hear the flute playing, you follow the music, and everybody gets drowned,” Francis said, adding that “great dictatorships were born from an illusion, a momentary charm.”

During the interview, the pope also spoke out against labor exploitation, saying that jobs without rights are tantamount to slavery. 

“Work gives a person dignity. The greatest treachery on the road to dignity is [worker] exploitation,” he said . “When a worker is hired, they must be provided with social services, which are part of their rights. Labor should come with rights, otherwise it is slavery”.

“When workers have no rights or are hired for short periods of time to be replaced later without social security payments, they are turned into slaves; the person who does the hiring becomes an executioner,” he added.

“And I want to make it clear that I am not a communist, as some people say,” Francis said, jokingly. 

Asked about whether he still has important trips to make, Pope Francis said he has yet to visit Argentina. “I’d like to go,” he said. He didn’t say when he would be back in his homeland, however, adding that there are other possible trips under review, and some take precedence over others.

“There is always an invitation, and then there is an intuition regarding timing. It is not an automatic decision.”

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