But last month, Swiss voters rejected a proposal to cap the salaries of top executives at 12 times that of a company's lowest wage, heeding warnings from industry leaders that the measure could harm the country's economy.
Francis said many places in the world were seeing a "serious rise" in inequality between people living side by side.
He attacked the "widening gap between those who have more and those who must be content with the crumbs", calling on governments to implement "effective policies" to guarantee people's fundamental rights, including access to capital, services, educational resources, healthcare and technology.
(Read more: Pope Francis attacks 'tyranny' of unfettered capitalism)
The new pope's style is characterized by frugality. He shunned the spacious papal apartment in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace to live in a small suite in a Vatican guest house, and he prefers a Ford Focus to the traditional Mercedes.
A champion of the downtrodden, he visited the island of Lampedusa in southern Italy in July to pay tribute to hundreds of migrants who had died crossing the sea from North Africa.
(Read more: Pope Francis named Time magazine Person of the Year)
Last month, in a document seen as a manifesto of his papacy, he attacked unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny."
Since his election in March as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years, the Argentinian has several times condemned the "idolatry of money" and said it was a depressing sign of the times that a homeless person dying of exposure on the street was no longer news but a slight fall in the stock market is.
Follow us on Twitter: