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Paying fair wage not Communist but Christian, says pope

Francis urges faithful to 'bear coherent witness' in daily life

27 February, 13:59
Paying fair wage not Communist but Christian, says pope (ANSA) - Vatican City, February 27 - Paying a fair wage to employees is not a Communist notion but comes directly from the Gospels, Pope Francis said Thursday.

Quoting from the apostle St. James during Mass, Francis described how James insisted on paying proper wages to workers in the fields and added that this idea should not be confused with Communism.

"We heard what the apostle St. James says to some inconsistent people who boasted of being Christian, but took advantage of their employees," said Francis said during Mass at St. Martha's House, the Vatican guesthouse where he lives.

"He says, 'Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts'," the pope continued.

"If one hears this, one might think: 'But a communist has said this!" No, no, the Apostle James said it! It is the Word of the Lord," added the pope.

He urged Christians to also set a strong example by living their faith with consistency.

"If you find yourself in front of - imagine! - in front of an atheist and he tells you he doesn't believe in God, you can read him a whole library, where it says that God exists and even proving that God exists, and he will not have faith," said Francis. "But if in the presence of this atheist you bear coherent witness of Christian life, something will begin to work in his heart".