Pope Francis called Tuesday for tougher regulation of financial markets, warning in a video message against "dangerous" speculation and urging a fairer economy.
"While the real economy, the one that creates jobs, is in crisis — so many people are out of work! — the financial markets have never been so hypertrophic as they are now," he said.
He added: "Finance, if not regulated, becomes pure speculation driven by monetary policies. This situation is unsustainable. It is dangerous.
"To prevent the poor again paying the consequences, financial speculation must be strictly regulated."
In the video message published through his Worldwide Prayer Network, the pope emphasised that finance could be a useful tool if used for the common good.
Calling on the finance industry to work with governments to better regulate markets, he said: "There is still time to start a process of global change to implement a different, fairer, more inclusive, sustainable economy, that leaves nobody behind. Let's do it!"
The Argentine-born pope has repeatedly highlighted what he sees as the failings of capitalism, notably social inequality.
"Let's pray that financial leaders will work with governments to regulate financial markets and protect citizens in distress," he added.