“But the world, which today affords so many justifiable reasons for pride and hope, is also undergoing a terrible temptation to materialism which has been denounced by our predecessors and ourselves on many occasions.
This materialism is not confined to that condemned philosophy which dictates the policies and economy of a large segment of mankind. It rages also in a love of money which creates ever greater havoc as modern enterprises expand, and which, unfortunately, determines many of the decisions which weigh heavy on the life of the people. It finds expression in the cult of the body, in excessive desire for comforts, and in flight from all the austerities of life. It encourages scorn for human life, even for life, which is destroyed before seeing the light of day.
This materialism is present in the unrestrained search for pleasure, which flaunts itself shamelessly and tries, through reading matter and entertainments, to seduce souls which are still pure. It shows itself in lack of interest in one’s brother, in selfishness which crushes him, in justice which deprives him of his rights–in a word, in that concept of life which regulates everything exclusively in terms of material prosperity and earthly satisfactions.
‘And I will say to my soul, the rich man said, Soul, thou hast many good things laid up for many years; take thy ease, eat, drink, be merry. But God said to him, Thou fool, this night do they demand thy soul of thee.’ Luke 12:19-20”
Pope Pius XII in Le Pelerinage de Lourdes: Encyclical Warning Against Materialism (45-48) promulgated on July 2, 1957.