Since his election to pope in March of 2013, Pope Francis has shown the world a different style of religious leadership, becoming widely popular for his modern stances on social issues and consistently saint-like attitude.
On Thursday, Pope Francis spoke during a mass at the Vatican, expressing his outrage at the state of workers across the world. Francis referred to employers who take advantage of their employees as “bloodsuckers” and called unfair contract practices a mortal sin.
Francis told a story of a girl who was working 11 hours a day, but who was woefully underpaid for the work she did.
“This is starving the people with their work for my own profit! Living on the blood of the people. And this is a mortal sin.”
The Pope’s comments are curiously timed just as the Obama Administration has passed new rules on required overtime pay. Republicans have been strongly against the change, claiming that requiring businesses to properly compensate for overtime pay will harm small businesses.
The Pope addressed a wider range of workers’ benefits, making it clear the role he believes businesses should have in taking care of their workers.
“Without a pension, without health care … then they suspend (the contract), and in July and August (the workers) have to eat air. And in September, they laugh at you about it. Those who do that are true bloodsuckers.”
As is so often the case, the Pope speaks for the truly disadvantaged, and as he does so, earns back some of the respect lost to the Catholic church in recent years.