Human traffickers and unjust business owners who become wealthy by exploiting others for cheap labor commit a mortal sin, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.
“Those who do this are true leeches and live off the bloodletting of people whom they have made to work as slaves,” the pope said May 19 during Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae Catholic News Service reported.
The pope’s homily centered on the day’s first reading from the Letter of St. James (5:1-6) in which the apostle denounces those who have gained their wealth from “the wages you withheld from the workers.”
Although wealth in and of itself isn’t bad, the pope said the real problem comes when one’s heart becomes attached to riches, particularly those who believe in the “theology of prosperity” that stems from the belief that God offers financial blessings to the just.
The attachment to wealth can instead become “chains that take away the freedom to follow Jesus,” he said.