Japan’s rare Catholic PM Taro Aso meets Pope Benedict

July 7, 2009

aso-popeJapanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, a member of Japan’s tiny Roman Catholic minority, had a chance toenjoy some time away from political trouble at home when he met with Pope Benedict on Tuesday.

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.

Sarkozy dons burqa to camouflage reform agenda

By Paul Taylor
June 22, 2009

sarkozy-speechIn a column last week, I noted how Nicolas Sarkozy was a master at signalling left while turning right. Well, in his keynote address to both houses of parliament today, the conservative president went a step further. He summoned up the burqa to camouflage his real intention — relaunching a drive to reform France’s ossified social, education and tax system.

Markets and morality: a tale of two uproars

March 23, 2009

excessThe howls of protest against fat cat bonuses during this financial crisis stem from a deep-seated source of moral outrage. For many people, it just seems like common sense that it’s unfair for Wall Street executives to reward  themselves for creating the mess robbing millions of their savings.

What would John Calvin say?

February 16, 2009

With the financial crisis erupting around the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Protestant theologian John Calvin, many people in the Netherlands — where his thinking played an important role in forming the local culture — are looking back at his influence and what he might say of the current crisis and the people involved.

from UK News:

‘We are all to blame for financial crisis’ – archbishop

February 12, 2009

Bankers, auditors, money-market speculators and regulators all came in for criticism at the Church of England's General Synod during a discussion on the implications of the financial crisis and the recession.

Bishop sorry for stinging “idolatry” attack on banker

January 18, 2009

Of all the denunciations of greed coming from the pulpits in this financial crisis, few have had as much sting as the attack that Bishop Wolfgang Huber of Berlin delivered just before Christmas. Huber, who as council chairman of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) is the country’s top Protestant prelate, singled out the head of the biggest German bank when he lambasted top financiers for their rush for profits.

Cardinal Schönborn links financial crisis to evolutionism

January 7, 2009

Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn is one of the Catholic Church’s most vocal critics of what he calls evolutionism, which he defines as an ideology that applies Darwin’s theory of natural selection to a wide variety of questions beyond biology. He usually directs his criticism at scientists and philosophers who say evolution proves that God does not exist.

British charities offer no haven for laid-off bankers

December 4, 2008

How ironic is this? When the financial industry was riding high, many bankers and brokers had no time for charity work. Now that lots of them have been laid off and have the time, Rebekah Curtis reports from London, many can’t find a charity that can use their skills.

Islamic finance sector needs more sharia scholars

December 1, 2008

Articles about Islamic finance are usually long on finance and short on Islam. Knowing that the various schools of Islam can interpret and apply sharia in different ways, I recently wondered how this looked in the financial sector, especially since Islamic banking has spread in recent years and non-Muslim institutions and investors were getting into the business. A conference on Islamic banking in France brought several sharia scholars to Paris, so I took the opportunity to interview them for the news story posted here.