Sketch: A New Reformation of the Economy

Martin Luther meets Pope Francis in London, on 4th Dec 2017. Almost all of the words used are quotes.

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Pope: In 1517 the church was not a role model. There was corruption, there was worldliness, there was greed, a lust for power. Martin Luther protested against this. And he was an intelligent man.

Money: (with money hat on) We are here to celebrate the power of money to purchase for people access to God.

Luther: Oh no we are not. (Takes money’s hat off and places it on the ground) The only thing bringing us to God is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Money: (takes hat back) In that case we are here, today, 2017, to call economists, financiers, technology experts to celebrate this: unlimited growth is here to stay.

Pope: No: there is not an unlimited supply of the world’s goods. The world is being squeezed dry.

Luther: And God writes the gospel not in the bible alone, but also in the trees, and in the flowers, and clouds and stars.

Money: Enough of that, we are here to celebrate me, the god of extreme profits, so that I may gorge myself on the feast of everything that stands in my way.

Pope: Sadly we might agree. Whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenceless before you, the god of the market. It seems that you are the only rule.

Money: So you admit defeat?

Luther: Defeat? if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. For every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.

Money: Hope? Money crushes hope. What are you going to do?

Luther: When Cardinal Bergoglio became pope, he took the name of St Francis. But this was not just a name, it was a plan.

Pope: Francis, the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation. Francis, the man who changed history. How I would like a church that is poor and is for the poor. What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?

Luther: Parents shouldn’t give up choosing what is best for their children, even when they are ungrateful.

Money: And do you, with all your terrible mistakes, think that anyone will listen?

Luther: No great saint lived without errors.

Pope: I also am a sinner but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our lord Jesus Christ.  And in this day and age, unless Christians are revolutionaries, they are not Christians.

Luther: And though this world with devils filled

Should threaten to undo us

We will not fear for God has willed

His truth to triumph through us.

Pope: We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single family. The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.  This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: changing to a form of development which seeks to respect creation.

Money: So what do you want?

Pope & Luther: A radical reformation of the economy!

Money: What do you want?

All: A radical reformation of the economy to protect the climate!

Pope: The time has come to accept decreased growth in some parts of the world, so that other parts may experience healthy growth.

Money: This is just asking for…

Pope & Luther: A radical reformation of the economy!

Money: You know you can’t have…

All: A radical reformation of the economy!

Pope: I await the surprise of each day. God is always a surprise, so you never know where and how you will meet him.

Pope & Luther: Earth our mother moon our brother

Here I stand I can do no other.

Pope: Working for a just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human labour is not mere philanthropy, it is a moral obligation. For Christians the responsibility is even greater, it is a commandment

Pope & Luther: Earth our mother, moon our brother.

Here we stand we can do no other.

Luther: If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.

And let us sing as we go, may our struggles and our concern for this planet, never take away the joy of our hope.

Money: But money always rules.

Pope:  (takes hat) No it does not. Men and women will not be sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption. Money has to serve and not rule.

All: Money has to serve and not rule.

Pope & Luther: What do we want?

All: A radical reformation of the economy to protect the climate!

Pope & Luther: What do we want?

All: A radical reformation of the economy to protect the climate!

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