Pope Francis warns unemployment can lead to 'suicide' in annual Lent message
Holy Father urges faithful to convert to justice, equality and simplicity
Pope Francis has warned "unjust" social conditions like unemployment can lead to sin, financial ruin and even suicide.
In his message for Lent, the Jesuit pope said depriving people of the dignity of work, education and access to health care can lead to "moral destitution".
He said: "How much pain is caused in families because one of their members- often a young person- is in thrall to alcohol, drugs, gambling and even pornography."
"In such cases, moral destitution can be considered impending suicide," he added.
Pope Francis urged his faithful to "help and enrich" others by "our own poverty" ahead of Lent- a solemn period in the run-up to Holy Week and Easter, which pays tribute to Christ's death and resurrection.
He added: "Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt""
This is not the first time the outspoken Argentine pope denounces the devastating impact of social exclusion and income inequality on the poor.
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 excesses of capitalism.
Read more on Pope Francis:Pope Francis: The internet is a 'gift from God'
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...