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Shady business deals that threaten employment a 'grave sin,' pope says


  • Pope Francis speaks during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican March 15. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • A pilgrim from China presents a statue of Mary as he meets Pope Francis during the pope's general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican March 15. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Canadian flags are seen as pilgrims attend Pope Francis' general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican March 15. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis greets a boy while meeting the disabled during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican March 15. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis is pictured during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican March 15. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican March 15. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Employers who make business deals that threaten people's livelihood commit a sin that robs men, women and their families of their dignity, Pope Francis said.

"Whoever -- because of economic maneuvering and business dealings that are not all clear -- closes factories and businesses and takes work away from men and women commits a grave sin," the pope said March 15 before concluding his weekly general audience.

The pope was speaking to a group of employees from Italy's Sky television; several hundred employees risk losing their jobs after the company announced plans to move their Rome headquarters to Milan.

According to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Sky Italia claimed the move was due to rising costs and an outdated digital infrastructure in Rome. Local workers' unions have criticized the company's decision that will force 300 workers to transfer from the capital while an estimated 200 employees will be left without a job.

Before the audience began, the pope circled St. Peter's Square in the popemobile, stopping along the way to kiss babies and wave to the thousands of pilgrims present.

Stepping out of his popemobile, the pope also greeted several Chinese pilgrims from the Tanjin Meng Fu Lu Chang group.

One pilgrim holding a child couldn't contain his emotions, kneeling and prostrating while the pope stooped down to help him up. The child he carried also bowed respectfully.

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