Pope Francis Denounces Global ‘Cult Of Money’

Pope Francis Denounces Global 'Cult Of Money'Pope Francis has called on world leaders to end the “cult of money” and to do more for the poor, in his first major speech on the financial crisis. Free market economics had created a tyranny, in which people were valued only by their ability to consume, the pontiff told diplomats in the Vatican.

‘Increase transparency’

“Money has to serve, not to rule,” he said, urging ethical financial reforms.

Meanwhile, the Vatican’s own bank announced it would publish its annual report for the first time. The Institute for Works of Religion, which has been at the centre of various financial scandals in recent years, is to hire an external accountancy firm to ensure it meets international standards against money laundering. The bank would launch a website and publish its annual report in an effort to increase transparency, new president Ernst Freyberg said.

‘Worship of the golden calf’

Pope Francis said life had become worse for people in both rich and poor countries, the BBC’s David Willey in Rome reports. In a biblical reference, the pontiff said the “worship of the golden calf” of old had found a new and heartless image in the current cult of money. He added that reforms were urgently needed as poverty was becoming more and more evident.

People struggled to live, and frequently in an undignified way, under the dictatorship of an economy which lacked any real human goal, Pope Francis said. He made his remarks during an address to newly accredited ambassadors to the Holy See.

Do you agree with Pope Francis’ view on money? And do you approve of the Vatican bank’s move for more transparency?

Source: BBC News

Image: Al Jazeera

Mars One Now Looking For Applicants For One-Way Ticket To The Red Planet

Mars One Now Looking For Applicants For One-Way Ticket To The Red PlanetA Dutch company called Mars One began looking Monday for volunteer astronauts to fly to Mars. Departure for the Red Planet is scheduled for 2022, landing seven months later in 2023. The space travelers will return … never. They will finish out their lives on Mars, representatives from the nonprofit said.

‘Build a colony’

The company announced a casting call for candidates at a news conference in New York City. Anyone 18 or older may apply via video but there is an application fee — $38 for U.S. applicants. The money will fund the mission.

Mars One wants to build a colony that will be able to grow with an ever-expanding crew. The group has a plan for testing the technology that would transport people and things. The group wants to launch a supply mission that will land on Mars as soon as October 2016.

Once selected, a group of 40 astronauts will undergo seven years of training. The flight to Earth’s neighbor, with its barren red desert landscape and thin carbon dioxide atmosphere, sounds almost worse than a lifetime on it. The crew of four will be cooped up on a rocket for seven months with a limited supply of food and water.

‘Decades-long reality show’

Mars One plans to fund the mission partly from the sale of technology developed during the mission, CEO Bas Lansdorp said. Media coverage will provide the main funding for the mission, Mars One said. Publicity is key, and the media event begins now with the casting of the astronauts.

Lansdorp said that after consulting with media experts and ad agencies, he’s confident life on Mars will remain a hit for decades on Earth and will be able to weather any financial crisis or war on Earth. If all goes well, Earthling television viewers can look forward to a decades-long reality show, though Lansdorp said the astronauts will be allowed to turn the cameras off at times.

Are you willing to leave your life on Earth and reside in Mars permanently? Do you think this project will be a hit?

Source: Ben Brumfield and Elizabeth Landau, CNN

Image: The Weather Network