Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Pope releases new encyclical on economics, "Charity in Truth"

Pope calls for 'God-centered' global economy

By Christophe Simon, AFP/Getty Image
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Pope Benedict XVI waves to the crowd in Luanda, Angola, March 22. The pope has said the world's poor shouldn't bear the brunt of the economic downturn as they are not responsible for it.

USA Today
Updated 22m ago
By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY

Pope Benedict XVI today called for reforming the United Nations and establishing a "true world political authority" with "real teeth" to manage the global economy with God-centered ethics.

In his third encyclical, a major teaching, released as the G-8 summit begins in Italy, the pope says such an authority is urgently needed to end the current worldwide financial crisis. It should "revive" damaged economies, reach toward "disarmament, food security and peace," protect the environment and "regulate migration."

Benedict writes, "The market is not, and must not become, the place where the strong subdue the weak."

The encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth) is a theologically dense explication of Catholic social teaching that draws heavily from earlier popes, particularly PaulVI's critique of capitalism 42 years ago. And echoing his predecessor John Paul II, Benedict says, "every economic decision has a moral consequence."

Issued days before his Friday meeting with President Obama, the pope's views here are "to the left of Obama in terms of economic policy," particularly in calls for redistribution of wealth, says political scientist Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest and senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Pope urges new financial order guided by ethics
Profit-at-all-cost mentality denounced in document released ahead of G-8

Associated Press
updated 1 hour, 6 minutes ago

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI has called for a new world financial order guided by ethics, dignity and the search for the common good in the third encyclical of his pontificate.

In "Charity in Truth," Benedict denounces the profit-at-all-cost mentality of the globalized economy and laments that such greed has brought about the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

The document, in the works for two years, was released Tuesday, one day before leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations meet to coordinate efforts to emerge from the financial crisis. The release was clearly designed to give world leaders a strong moral imperative to correct the errors of the past and make a more socially just and responsible world financial order.

See also:

From the Boston Globe, "Text of papal encyclical 'Charity in Truth'"

From Reuters, "Papal message seeks 'global authority' for economy"


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