Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pope to Publish Encyclical on Economy, Call for New Paradigm

Pope to Publish Encyclical on Economy, Call for New Paradigm

By Flavia Krause-Jackson and Lorenzo Totaro

June 25 (Bloomberg) -- Pope Benedict XVI by the end of June will probably publish his first official document on the economy, including his views on lessons to be learned from the financial crisis.

Entitled “Caritas in Veritate,” which in Latin means “charity in truth,” the encyclical has been two years in the making. Publication was held up when the credit crunch crippled the world economy, and the document may now be released June 29, according to Cardinal Renato Martino. The pontiff has also added reflections on poverty from his first-ever trip to Africa in March.

Earlier this month, Benedict said the financial crisis shows “how the economic and financial paradigms that have been dominant in recent years must be rethought.”

Benedict made his comments in a June 13 speech to members of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontice Foundation, set up by Pope John Paul II in 1991 to promote social doctrine. He also said in the speech that his encyclical would “be published soon.” Cardinal Martino told reporters in Rome on June 23 that June 29, which is the feast of St. Peter and Paul and is a holiday in Rome, would probably be the official date. A Vatican spokesman declined to confirm the timing.

Financial ‘Prophecy’

Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti said Nov. 20 that the pope was the first to predict the crisis in the global financial system, referring to a “prophecy” in a paper Benedict wrote when he was a cardinal. German-born Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict in April 2005.

Ratzinger in 1985 presented a paper entitled “Market Economy and Ethics” at a Rome event dedicated to the Church and the economy. He said a decline in ethics “can actually cause the laws of the market to collapse.”

Pope Benedict has made frequent comments on the economy since the beginning of the financial crisis. In an Oct. 7 speech last year he reflected on crashing markets and concluded that “money vanishes, it is nothing” and warned that “the only solid reality is the word of God.”

The Vatican’s official newspaper, l’Osservatore Romano, on the same day criticized the free-market model for having “grown too much and badly in the past two decades.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson in Rome at

Last Updated: June 25, 2009 05:22 EDT


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