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Pope warns against false idols

Violence, robbery and wealth are the three "idols contrary to the dignity of man and social cohabitation", according to Pope John Paul II, who was commenting on Psalm 61 during yesterday's General Audience at the Vatican.

"The first false idol is violence to which humanity unfortunately continues resorting also in our bloodstained days. This idol is accompanied by the immense procession of wars, oppression, prevarication, torture and detestable killings, inflicted without hint of remorse", said the Pope.

"The second false idol is robbery, expressed in extortion, social injustice, usury, political and economic corruption". For Pope John Paul II "too many people cultivate the illusion of satisfying their greed in this way".

Wealth is the third idol, "to which the 'heart of man attaches' in the deceptive hope of overcoming death and ensuring a pre-eminence of prestige and power", concluded Pope John Paul II, who defined these "pseudo-values fragile and inconsistent" like a "diabolic triad".

He said: "Yet those who understand the fallen nature of humanity and the limits to which creatures are subject will shun these false values. They will build their lives around genuine trust, centred on the Lord, who is the source of joy and peace".

Pope calls attention to false idols: violence, social injustice and wealth (Missionary Service News Agency 10/11/04)

Audience: do not base your life on false values (Vatican Information Service 10/11/04)
John Paul II General Audience (10/11/04)
Pope, for independence day, thanks God for Poland's freedom (Vatican Information Service 10/11/04)
Laity Require Formation to Face the Sects, Says Pope (Zenit 9/11/04)
Stay Close to Mary, Advises John Paul II (Zenit 9/11/04)
Pope Sees Beauty as a Means of Evangelization (Zenit 9/11/04)
Papal audience theme: guard against idolatry (Catholic World News 10/11/04)

11 Nov 2004