The many, many occasions when our Popes have condemned the attitude of selfish financial gain at the expense of others as idolatry seems to been lost on some of todays Catholics. Pope St JPII General Audience on the topic of the idolatry of greed. 1/9/04
2.“Their [the heathens’] idols” (v. 4) are immediately set against the true God worshipped by Israel. Idolatry is a temptation of all humanity in all lands and in all epochs. The idol is an inanimate object created by human hands, a cold and lifeless statue. The Psalmist ironically describes all seven of its useless members: a mouth that cannot speak, eyes that are blind, ears that are deaf, nostrils that smell nothing, hands that cannot feel, feet that cannot walk, a throat from which no sound comes (cf. vv. 5-7).
After this merciless criticism of idols, the Psalmist expresses a sarcastic wish: “Their makers will come to be like them and so will all who trust in them” (v. 8). The formulation of this wish is certainly calculated to produce, with regard to idolatry, a radically dissuasive effect. Those who worship the idols of riches, power and success forfeit their personal dignity. The Prophet Isaiah said: “All who make idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit; their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame” (Is 44: 9).
Pope Benedict Homily on idolatry today September 08
This appeal to shun idols, dear brothers and sisters, is also pertinent today. Has not our modern world created its own idols? Has it not imitated, perhaps inadvertently, the pagans of antiquity, by diverting man from his true end, from the joy of living eternally with God? This is a question that all people, if they are honest with themselves, cannot help but ask. What is important in my life? What is my first priority? The word “idol” comes from the Greek and means “image”, “figure”, “representation”, but also “ghost”, “phantom”, “vain appearance”. An idol is a delusion, for it turns its worshipper away from reality and places him in the kingdom of mere appearances. Now, is this not a temptation in our own day – the only one we can act upon effectively? The temptation to idolize a past that no longer exists, forgetting its shortcomings; the temptation to idolize a future which does not yet exist, in the belief that, by his efforts alone, man can bring about the kingdom of eternal joy on earth! Saint Paul explains to the Colossians that insatiable greed is a form of idolatry (cf. 3:5), and he reminds his disciple Timothy that love of money is the root of all evil. By yielding to it, he explains, “some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs” ( 1 Tim 6:10). Have not money, the thirst for possessions, for power and even for knowledge, diverted man from his true Destiny, from the truth about himself?