Pope Francis warns of 'spiritual cancer' caused by materialism in South Korea - News - People - The Independent

Pope Francis warns of 'spiritual cancer' caused by materialism in South Korea

“We see signs of an idolatry of wealth, power and pleasure, which come at a high cost to human lives,” he said.

Pope Francis has warned of the “spiritual cancer” caused by the allure of materialism in affluent countries, during a sermon in the newly rich and hyper-competitive nation of South Korea.

The Pope made his plea on Friday during a meeting where some 6,000 young Catholics from 23 nations gathered in the sanctuary town of Solmoe, where Korea's first Catholic priest was born.

“We see signs of an idolatry of wealth, power and pleasure, which come at a high cost to human lives,” he said.

While some South Koreans are proud that national doggedness has seen the nation become Asia’s fourth largest economy, it has been suggested that the pressure explains why it has the world's highest suicide rate.

Referring to the toll that competition can take, the Holy See added it can lead to an emptiness and despair that grows “like a cancer” in society. “Upon how many of our young has this despair taken its toll!” he asked the crowd.

Read more: Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
Pope Francis: 'You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven'
Pope Francis lets slip the F-word during Vatican address
Pope Francis: ‘One in 50’ Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals is a paedophile

 

On Friday he echoed comments he made during his first public Mass in Asia, in the central city of Daejeon, where thousands of young people had gathered for a Catholic festival.

During his homily, Francis – who has been celebrated for championing the poor - urged the faithful to reject “inhuman” economic policies that disenfranchise the poor and “the spirit of unbridled competition which generates selfishness and strife.”

Chang Seouk-kyung, a 57-year-old youth counselor present at the sermon asked: "We are living in the age of limitless competition. But are we truly achieving happiness?"

"If such a message is given by someone as powerful and revered as the pope, it will help people wake up, stop and look around them," he added.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week