Pope urges bold world economic reform before G8 summit

July 7, 2009

popePope Benedict issued an ambitious call to reform the way the world works on Tuesday shortly before its most powerful leaders meet at the G8 summit in Italy. His latest encyclical, entitled “Charity in Truth,” presents a long list of steps he thinks are needed to overcome the financial crisis and shift economic activity from the profit motive to a goal of solidarity of all people.

Following are some of his proposals. The italics are from the original text. Do you think they are realistic food for thought or idealistic notions with no hope of being put into practice?

  • “There is urgent need of a true world political authority. .. to manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration… such an authority would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights.”
  • The economy needs ethics in order to function correctly – not any ethics whatsoever, but an ethics which is people-centred…”
  • “Financiers must rediscover the genuinely ethical foundation of their activity, so as not to abuse the sophisticated instruments which can serve to betray the interests of savers. Right intention, transparency, and the search for positive results are mutually compatible and must never be detached from one another.”
  • “Without doubt, one of the greatest risks for businesses is that they are almost exclusively answerable to their investors, thereby limiting their social value… there is nevertheless a growing conviction that business management cannot concern itself only with the interests of the proprietors, but must also assume responsibility for all the other stakeholders who contribute to the life of the business: the workers, the clients, the suppliers of various elements of production, the community of reference… What should be avoided is a speculative use of financial resources that yields to the temptation of seeking only short-term profit, without regard for the long-term sustainability of the enterprise, its benefit to the real economy and attention to the advancement, in suitable and appropriate ways, of further economic initiatives in countries in need of development.”
  • “One possible approach to development aid would be to apply effectively what is known as fiscal subsidiarity, allowing citizens to decide how to allocate a portion of the taxes they pay to the State.”
(Photo: Pope Bendict, 1 July 2009/Tony Gentile)

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shifting activity from the profit motive to the goal of solidarity for all people — you bet it’s idealistic. You bet it would be hard to implement. But no one said true Christianity is easy. Go Pope B!

Posted by Cory Allen Heidelberger | Report as abusive

“World Political Authority.” Get Lost! Long Live the American Revolution and the Sovereign Constitutional Republic!

Posted by crafton s. miller | Report as abusive

Since his proposals obviously take the direction of Ecology & Sustainable Development, I don’t see how I who have always made myself a pain in the ass preaching those around me and, notably, my dear Tom «you know where… Read more», should fail to support them. Is Jo Ratzinger goin’ to join the Green & Altermundialists? That would be great news indeed! But when he hopes that “Financiers must rediscover the genuinely ethical foundation of their activity”, I think he is either raving like a looney or he doesn’t know what kind of bastards financiers truly are. These are the ones who screwed up our entire value system by introducing a confusion between the ends and the means. By the way, have you noticed that this page of Reuters Blogs bears (up right) a link to Scientology.org? Isn’t that quite a piece of dramatic irony? Besides if these proposals truly reflect the Pope’s opinions, I wonder how he makes them coexist with his process of reconciliation with the fundamentalists?

Posted by Oilibheir Álain Christie | Report as abusive

“There is urgent need of a true world political authority…” What is this? Lord of the Rings? Is he going to fashion 7 rings for the other rulers and then fashion himself “one ring to rule them all?”

Posted by professor pinch | Report as abusive

Definitely prophecy being fulfilled. World political authority huh? Sounds like the beast of Revelation.These are not off-the-wall ideas, these are well-planned schemes to take our freedoms and set up a New World Order who pays homage to none other than Satan himself. Only hope is to surrender to God and accept His Son Jesus, who is able to sustain us.

Posted by dee webb | Report as abusive

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