Pope criticizes 'savage capitalism' on visit to food kitchen

VATICAN CITY Tue May 21, 2013 3:03pm EDT

Pope Francis speaks as he leads a Pentecost vigil mass in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican May 18, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Pope Francis speaks as he leads a Pentecost vigil mass in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican May 18, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis criticized what he called "savage capitalism" on a visit to a food kitchen on Tuesday, in an address in which he called for the values of generosity and charity to be revived.

"A savage capitalism has taught the logic of profit at any cost, of giving in order to get, of exploitation without thinking of people... and we see the results in the crisis we are experiencing," the pope said.

Francis greeted the men and women coming to the 'Gift of Maria' food kitchen, located at the walls of the Vatican.

The first non-European pontiff in centuries, the Argentine-born pope last week called for financial reform, condemning a "dictatorship of the economy" and a "cult of money".

Francis has set a simpler style for the papacy since taking office in March, shunning traditional ornate garments and living in a guest house instead of the Apostolic Palace. He has said he wants the 1.2-billion-member Catholic Church to defend the poor and to be more austere itself.

(Reporting by Naomi O'Leary; Editing by Michael Roddy)