Friday, 20 Feb 2015 09:04 PM
By Cathy Burke
Employers who hire workers off the books to avoid paying taxes, Social Security, and a fair wage are committing a "very grave sin," Pope Francis says.
In a homily Friday at the Saint Martha residence in the Vatican where he lives, the Argentine pontiff harshly castigated bosses who attend church but treat their workers poorly, the Gazzetta del Sud reports.
"You cannot make donations to the Church on the back of the injustice that you commit with your employees," the Pope said, the online news site reports.
"Using God to cover injustice is a very grave sin," he said, adding: "If you go to Mass on Sunday and take communion, you should ask: What is the relationship with your employees? Do you pay them off the books? Do you pay them a fair salary? Do you pay the pension contributions?"
Though the Pope has been praised by some for his remarks on homosexuality, abortion, and divorce that appears to signal a more tolerant tone in the Catholic Church, it's a position that has rattled conservatives.
But he has also come under fire from the gay community for criticizing theories that consider people's gender identities to exist along a spectrum, comparing transgender people to "Herods"who "destroy, that plot designs of death, that disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying creation."