The Pope does NOT condemn free market forces:
Vatican City, July 7 - Pope Benedict XVI called for new ethical rules for global finance in his new encyclical, Charity in Truth, issued Tuesday on the eve of a Group of Eight summit in Italy. The encyclical, which runs to 142 pages in Italian and is Benedict's third since becoming pope, also touched on United Nations reform, development aid and migrant workers, but focused largely on the world economy.
The pontiff said finance without ethics had derailed the real economy, provoking the global economic crisis. ''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,'' he said. Benedict stressed that he did not oppose a globalised economy, which he said opened up ''the unprecedented possibility of large-scale redistribution of wealth on a world-wide scale''. ''If badly directed, however, (it) can lead to an increase in poverty and inequality, and could even trigger a global crisis. ''Every economic decision has a moral consequence,'' he said.
G8 leaders are due to discuss the global economic crisis in L'Aquila this week as well as development aid and the environment, and these were subjects which the pope also addressed.
Benedict appealed to wealthier countries to increase aid to put a stop to world hunger, stressing that this had become ''a requirement for safeguarding the peace and stability of the planet''. The pontiff said food insecurity needed to be addressed within a long-term perspective via the agricultural development of poorer countries, for example by investing in rural infrastructures, irrigation systems and the development of agricultural technology.
Benedict said that development aid for poor countries ''must be considered a valid means of creating wealth for all'' in the search for solutions to the current economic crisis. ''From this perspective, more economically developed nations should do all they can to allocate larger portions of their gross domestic product to development aid,'' he wrote.
CALL FOR 'TRUE WORLD POLITICAL AUTHORITY'.
The pope criticised the United Nations, calling for its reform along with that of other economic institutions and international finance ''so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth''. In what appeared to be a further rebuff to the UN's capabilities, the pontiff went on to suggest there is an ''urgent need of a true world political authority'' that would be universally recognised and vested with effective power on a number of issues, including finance and security.
The authority, the pope wrote, was needed 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''. (Read entire article)
While some people blame the market itself for the downward spiral into destitution, the Pope pointed out that the market is not a negative force by nature. Rather, the market can become a means of ruin when a certain ideology makes it so.
“Economy and finance, as instruments, can be used badly when those at the helm are motivated by purely selfish ends. Instruments that are good in themselves can thereby be transformed into harmful ones,” Benedict said.
“But it is man's darkened reason that produces these consequences, not the instrument per se. Therefore it is not the instrument that must be called to account, but individuals, their moral conscience and their personal and social responsibility.” (Read entire article)
Read entire encyclical here.
With all due respect to the Holy Father, I understand his desires and reasoning but the call for an enhanced United Nations, particularly in light of their inherent inadequacies and the tendentious nature of their decisions vis-a-vis true freedom, is overly idealistic, at best.
This is all the more relevant in light of the current tenure of the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, a gross liberation theologist who is an enemy of liberty, the Papacy and the authority of the Bishop of Rome!