Current Crisis Calls for World Financial Reorganization


VATICAN CITY, 18 MAR 2010 (VIS) - At midday today in the Vatican's Clementine Hall the Holy Father received members of the Union of Industrialists and Businesses of Rome.

Opening his remarks to them with a reference to the current economic crisis, the Pope noted how it has "sorely tried the economic and productive systems of various countries. Nonetheless, it should be faced with trust because it can be considered as an opportunity for the revision of development models and the reorganisation of global finance, a 'new time' - as it has been described - of profound reflection".

Benedict XVI then went on to recall how in his own social Encyclical "Caritas in veritate" he had encouraged the world of "economics and finance to focus on the person, whom Christ revealed in his profoundest dignity. Moreover, while recommending that politics not be subordinate to financial mechanisms, I encouraged the reform and creation of an international juridical and political order (adapted to global structures of economy and finance) in order more effectively to achieve the common good of the human family. Following in the footsteps of my predecessors, I underlined that the increase in unemployment, especially among young people, the economic impoverishment of many workers and the emergence of new forms of slavery require that access to dignified work for everyone be a priority objective".

"No-one is unaware of the sacrifices that have to be made in order to open a business, or keep it on the market, as a 'community of persons' which produces goods and services and which, hence, does not have the exclusive aim of making a profit, though it is necessary to do so", said the Pope. In this context he also highlighted the importance of "defeating the individualist and materialist mentality which holds that investments must be detracted from the real economy in order to favour the use of capital on financial markets, with a view to easier and quicker returns.

"I would like to recall", he added, "that the most sure way to contrast the decline of the entrepreneurial system in a particular territory consists in establishing a network of contacts with other social actors, investing in research and innovation, not using unjust competition between firms, not overlooking social obligations, and ensuring a quality productivity that responds to the real needs of people".

"A business can ... produce 'social wealth' if business people and managers are guided by a far-sighted vision, one that prefers long-term investment to speculative profit, and that promotes innovation rather than thinking only to accumulate wealth".

The Holy Father went on: "Business people attentive to the common good are always called to see their activity in the framework of a pluralistic whole. Such an approach generates - through personal dedication and a fraternity expressed in concrete economic and financial decisions - a market that is more competitive and, at the same time, more civil, animated by a spirit of service".

Benedict XVI concluded his remarks by saying that "development, in whatever sector of human existence, also means openness to the transcendent, to the spiritual dimension of life, to trust in God, to love, to fraternity, to acceptance, to justice and to peace".