Pope Benedict's latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth), addresses many issues connected to the current global economic crisis.
'Profit is useful if it serves as a means towards an end that provides a sense both of how to produce it and how to make good use of it. Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty.'
'The current crisis obliges us to re-plan our journey, to set ourselves new rules and to discover new forms of commitment, to build on positive experiences and to reject negative ones. The crisis thus becomes an opportunity for discernment, in which to shape a new vision for the future.'
'Today, as we take to heart the lessons of the current economic crisis, which sees the state's public authorities directly involved in correcting errors and malfunctions, it seems more realistic to re-evaluate their role and their powers, which need to be prudently reviewed and remodelled so as to enable them, perhaps through new forms of engagement, to address the challenges of today's world. Once the role of public authorities has been more clearly defined, one could foresee an increase in the new forms of political participation, nationally and internationally.'
'Today's international economic scene, marked by grave deviations and failures, requires a profoundly new way of understanding business enterprise. Old models are disappearing, but promising new ones are taking shape on the horizon. Without doubt, one of the greatest risks for businesses is that they are almost exclusively answerable to their investors, thereby limiting their social value.'
The global dimension of the financial crisis is an expression of the moral failure of greedy financiers and investors, of the lack of oversight by national governments and of a lack of understanding that the global economy required internationally recognized global control, Pope Benedict said.
"In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth," the pope wrote.
Caritas in Vertate
(Full text, English)
From Radio Vatican: http://www.oecumene.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=300446][b]Charity in Truth, a Synthesis[/b]
(Other material by agencies.)
The publication of Caritas in Veritate is taking place on the eve of the G8 meeting of world leaders at L'Aquila in Italy this week.