THE POPE has spoken out against the “hypocrisy of certain political personalities” while calling for action to address climate change and poverty.
Speaking in an interview broadcast on BBC Radio Four's Today programme, Pope Francis said Covid-19 could represent a potential turning point in history.
In the recording, taken from a longer interview in Spanish with papal biographer Austen Ivereigh, and read by Joseph Balderrama, the Pope said the pandemic "is affecting us all rich and poor alike and putting a spotlight on hypocrisy."
He said: "I am worried by the hypocrisy of certain political personalities who speak of facing up to the crisis of the problem of hunger in the world but, who in the meantime, manufacture weapons."
Pope Francis argued the pandemic represented an "opportunity" to challenge rampant consumerism and tackle climate change.
"Today I believe we have to slow down our rate of production and consumption and to learn to understand and contemplate our natural world,” he said.
"I see early signs of an economy that is more human,” he added.
“But let us not lose our memory once all this is past. This is the time to take the decisive step to move from using and misusing nature, to contemplating it."
Pope Francis also argued that in order to "restore their humanity," people need to see the poor as "people" rather than as "part of the landscape."
He said: "To 'see' the poor means to restore their humanity. They are not things, not garbage. They are people. We can't settle for a welfare policy such as we have for rescue animals and we often treat the poor like rescued animals. We can't settle for a partial welfare policy."