Arriving in economically hard hit Spain, Pope Benedict XVI has denounced the profit-at-all-costs mentality that he says is behind Europe’s current economic crisis.
After being met from the plane by Spain’s King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, the Pope made a speech at Madrid airport in which he said morals and ethics must play a greater role in formulating economic policy.
He said: “Many young people look to the future with concerns about the difficulty of finding decent employment and concerned about being lost or having a precarious life.”
The Pope also called for more tolerance saying: “In this context we need urgently to help these young disciples of Jesus to retain their faith without hiding their own Christian identities, in a climate of respectful coexistence with other legitimate options,” – by which he meant other religions and atheism – “and at the same time requiring that same mutual respect from others.”
Pope Benedict is in Madrid for the Roman Catholic Church’s World Youth Day – actually an event that lasts nearly a week.
The Vatican said the Pope’s attendance shows his concern for Spain in these economically difficult times. It comes at a time when the country is seen by some as having departed sharply from its Catholic traditions, embracing hedonism and secularism.