Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, addressed representatives of Caritas Internationalis (CI) on the economic crisis facing much of the world yesterday. CI President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga had invited the academic to address the 100th Executive Committee meeting of the confederation. During his speech he called for greater care for the environment, the development of sustainable and a more just economic system. The Tobin/Robin Hood tax made "economic common sense" he said.
Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo told Caritas delegates from around the world that finance and the economy can benefit society if they are tailored towards the common good, but financial institutions can be destructive if unregulated.
Pointed to the protest movements taking place in North Africa and the Middle East, Europe and North America, he said: “a large number of people around the world believe we are headed in the wrong direction”.
“Economics must not be exclusive,” he said. The bishop called for economics to be seen in the context of other issues such as sustainable energy, the environment, education and social issues such as drug use and prostitution rather than just GDP.
He also urged the use of more sustainable energy sources rather than coal, oil or nuclear power. In April, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences published a report: ‘Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene’, looking at the melting of mountain glaciers. Bishop Sánchez referred to that study, telling the Caritas meeting that changes to the glaciers normally occur every 10,000 years, but this new human-induced phase is moving at a 10-100 year cycle.
On finance, the Bishop said it was ridiculous that global finance wasn’t taxed and said the Tobin/Robin Hood Tax on international financial transactions made economic common sense.
He said the Catholic Church could provide the ‘faith horizon’ to get the world back on the right path, and urged Caritas leaders to focus on reason and faith as roots towards a new evangelisation.
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