Cardinal George Pell has said that Britain’s vote in favour of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States was fuelled by “radical inequality”.
The Australian cardinal’s comments came as a letter signed by Prime Minister Theresa May officially notified the European Union of Britain’s intention to leave.
Speaking at the launch of a book about technology’s influence on society, Cardinal Pell said the votes for Brexit and Trump “have shown that a strong majority of elite opinion will not necessarily prevail with the majority of the voters,” Catholic News Service reports.
Cardinal Pell added that if people experience personal tragedies and “radical inequality,” it “will provoke huge political changes.”
“I think the bitterness will really increase if Trump is unable to effect any or many of his promised reforms,” he said.
Cardinal Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, made the comments at the launch of Connected World, by Fr Philip Larrey, a philosophy professor at Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University
Although new technologies can promote employment and new opportunities in an ailing economy, if used improperly, they can also lead to tragedy and affect the course of history, the cardinal said.
As the use of modern technology and artificial intelligence increases in the world, those who suffer its effects due to lack of employment will be unable to “cope with additional misfortune,” he added.
“Drugs and alcohol enhance the tragedy, but certainly the decline in social capital; for example, family breakdown, extranuptial births, widespread pornography, addictive computer games and the decline in religious faith and practice,” he said.