Pope Benedict calls for new economic system that respects all

Pope Benedict has appealed for a new approach to the world economy which does not ignore the needs of the weakest in society.

Addressing members of the  Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, at the end of their annual general meeting on Friday, he said: "This year our meeting has particular significance and importance in the light of the situation that all humankind is currently experiencing. In fact, the financial and economic crisis which has hit industrialised, emerging and developing States clearly indicates the need to reconsider certain economic-financial paradigms that have dominated over the last few years".

The Holy Father praised the efforts made by the Foundation "to identify what values and rules the economic world should follow in order to implement a new development model, one more attentive to the needs of solidarity and more respectful of human dignity".

He made particular reference to the Foundation's examination of "the interdependence between institutions, society and the market on the basis of the idea (in keeping with John Paul II's Encyclical 'Centesimus Annus') that the market economy - understood as 'an economic system which recognises the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector' - may be recognised as a means to achieve social and economic progress only if oriented towards the common good".

Yet such a view, warned Benedict XVI, "must be accompanied by another reflection: that freedom in the economic sector must be 'circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality", a responsible freedom 'the core of which is ethical and religious'".

The Pope then expressed to his audience the hope that their work, "drawing inspiration from the eternal principles of the Gospel, may lead to a vision of the modern economy respectful of the needs and rights of the weakest.

"As you know my Encyclical dedicated to the vast area of the economy and work will soon be published. It will highlight what, for us as Christians, are the objectives that need to be pursued and what values to be tirelessly promoted and defended in order to create a truly free and united form of human coexistence".

On Sunday,  the feast of Corpus Christi, Pope Benedict  recalled how from 24 to 26 June a "United Nations conference will be held in New York on the economic and financial crisis and its impact on development".

He said: " I wish to make special mention of the hundreds of millions of people who suffer hunger. This is an absolutely unacceptable situation which, despite the efforts of recent decades, fails to improve. My hope, then, is that, on the occasion of the forthcoming UN conference and within international institutions, provisions be adopted, shared by the entire international community, and strategic choices be made, though sometimes difficult to accept, in order to ensure that everyone, in the present and in the future, has the food necessary for a dignified life".

He went on: "My hope is that participants in the conference, and those responsible for public affairs and the future of the planet, will be touched by the spirit of wisdom and human solidarity, that the current crisis may be transformed into an opportunity favouring increased attention to the dignity of all human beings and promoting a fair distribution of decision-making power and resources, with particular attention to the unfortunately ever growing numbers of poor people."

Source: VIS

Share this story