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Pope Francis attacks huge salaries for the rich while poor survive on 'crumbs'

Pontiff attacks excessive bonuses, greed-based economy

Pope Francis has made yet another controversial statement on corporate greed and income inequality in the first peace message of his pontificate.

The Holy Father criticised the "gap between those who have more" and those who "must content with the crumbs", as he called on world governments to do more to close the gap between the super rich and the poor.

Pope Francis, who was recently named TIME magazine's Person of the Year, attacked excessive salaries and exorbitant bonuses as a symptom of a greed-based economy.

"The grave financial and economic crises of the present time have pushed man to seek satisfaction, happiness and security in consumption and earnings out of all proportion to the principles of a sound economy," the Pope said in a message for the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of Peace

"The succession of economic crises should lead to a timely rethinking of our models of economic development and to a change in lifestyles," he added

Titled Fraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace, the message attacked injustice, human trafficking and organised crime as obstacles to world peace.

The message will be delivered to world governments, NGOs and intergovernmental organisations. 

But this is not the first time the Holy Father blasts economic injustice.

In his first major work as Pope, “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel), the Holy Father described capitalism as a "tyranny".

The Pope wrote: "How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?"

"This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality.

"As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape."

The Pope also criticised trickle down economics, financial speculation and the idea that the market knows best.