Cathy Lynn Grossman
USA TODAY, 24 October 2011
St. Peter’s Square, meet Zuccotti Park.
The Vatican today elaborated on Pope Benedict XVI’s call for a global entity to bring justice and compassion to the world economy.
“The economy needs ethics,” says the new document released today by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
According to the Associated Press, the Vatican suggests “the reform process begin with the United Nations as its point of reference.”
The Rev. Thomas Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University, calls the Vatican view…
closer to views of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement than anyone in the U.S. Congress.
Echoing the pope’s 2009 encyclical on the economy, it calls for the redistribution of wealth and the regulation of the world economy by international agencies.
Reese says it’s not only to the left of President Obama, it’s “to the left of Nancy Pelosi.”
Reese revisited the encyclical to get a sense of the pope’s thinking that shapes the new document. The pope called for more, not less, government regulation, saying:
The conviction that the economy must be autonomous, that it must be shielded from ‘influences’ of a moral character, has led man to abuse the economic process in a thoroughly destructive way… In the long term, these convictions have led to economic, social and political systems that trample upon personal and social freedom, and are therefore unable to deliver the justice that they promise.
Reese noted Benedict’s support for a new world 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…
And he concludes,
On economic issues, the pope is to the left of Obama. He is even to the left of liberal Democrats like Nancy Pelosi.
Catholic News Service has more details of the document, Toward Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority.
The document said the current global financial crisis has revealed “selfishness, collective greed and the hoarding of goods on a great scale.”
…The current economic crisis, which has seen growing inequality between the rich and poor of the world, underlines the necessity to take concrete steps toward creating (a global) authority, it said.
Heads up, Wall Street. According to John Thavis’ Catholic News Service report:
One major step … should be reform of the international monetary system in a way that involves developing countries. The document foresaw creation of a “central world bank” that would regulate the flow of monetary exchanges; it said the International Monetary Fund had lost the ability to control the amount of credit risk taken on by the system.
DO YOU THINK… The voices of Zuccotti Park are echoing in St. Peter’s Square — or the other way around?