Vatican calls for new global financial authority amid economic crisis
The new Vatican document cites Pope Benedict XVI's calls for putting ethical concerns over economic ones.
October 24th, 2011
01:35 PM ET

Vatican calls for new global financial authority amid economic crisis

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - Against the backdrop of the European debt crisis and the birth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Vatican on Monday called for a new “global public authority” to help reform the world’s finance and economic systems.

New ideologies are “reducing the common good to economic, financial and technical questions, (placing) the future of democratic institutions themselves at risk," said Roman Catholic Bishop Mario Toso at a Monday press conference.

The document, called "Towards reforming the international financial and monetary systems in the context of a global public authority" quotes former Pope John Paul II in bemoaning the “idolatry of the market.”

The document calls for a new global economic authority that could impose penalties on member states as “way of ensuring that they possess efficient markets,” Toso said.

Some progressives embraced the Vatican’s call, arguing that it sounded many of the same themes as the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Thomas Reese, an influential priest at Georgetown University’s Woodstock Theological Center, wrote in anticipation of the document’s release that it is “closer to views of the Occupy Wall Street movement than anyone in the U.S. Congress.”

“Not only will it be to the left of Barack Obama,” Reese wrote before the document’s release, “it will be to the left of Nancy Pelosi.”

Faith in Public Life, a progressive Washington-based group, applauded the document, calling it “a timely challenge to conservative political leaders eager to carve up the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law passed last year.”

The document is “far to the left of almost any politician in the United States (short of Rep. Bernie Sanders) and should also give pause to Democrats whose fundraising coffers spill over with contributions from a financial sector that has been allowed to run amok over the past three decades,” Faith in Public Life said in a statement.

Some conservatives pushed back on claims that the Vatican document aligns with the aims of Occupy Wall Street.

“There has been much hyperventilation from some quarters over the release of this document,” Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights President Bill Donohue said. “All of it is unwarranted.”

“Those who are comparing this text to the demands of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ crowd should first detail what exactly it is the urban campers want,” Donohue said in a statement.

Pope Benedict XVI has been following issues related to finance and global economy “with particular concern,” Roman Catholic Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson said on Monday.

The document was timed to help influence next week’s meeting of G20 nations, a group that comprises the countries with the world’s largest economies, Vatican officials said. It was released by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The document echoes Benedict’s earlier pronouncements on the global economy, including a 2009 encyclical, or papal letter.

“Today's international economic scene, marked by grave deviations and failures, requires a profoundly new way of understanding business enterprise," Benedict said in the letter, called "Charity in Truth."

"Financiers must rediscover the genuinely ethical foundation of their activity, so as not to abuse the sophisticated instruments which can serve to betray the interests of savers," Benedict wrote, calling for “an ethics which is people-centered.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Money & Faith • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (344 Responses)
  1. Shemika Druck

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    November 29, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
  2. robbie

    here is the truth from gods bible the false christianity&harlot spoken about in nt revelations&others-they will forbid to marry&not to eat meats ispapacy &vatican they will also put to death &persecute true believers like myself&others -but they are not the beast or gog or king of north they are 2 seperate&distinct powers man of sin is another name for beast is russia & ten kings they will set up the no one can buy or sell -mark of beast also making life impossible for those who dont recieve the mark the russian or man of sin will tire of harlot riding him & will burn her with fire in 1hr -nuclear bomb-what else destroys vatican &rome in 1hr- but god is in control&allows all this he says all who stay faithful to him will be saved&he will make a way for us to survive during russia 42 month reign after christ will return but not until all these things occur there is much much more to know from bible- email me if want to know more

    November 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
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  9. Courtney

    Global Debt Crisis

    The greatest private fraud of human history.
    Who are the great fraudsters who are becoming the murderers of the human kind? How does the economy "illness" threaten Democracy and the freedom of people?

    By knowing what happened in indebted Greece, where loan sharks created “bubbles” and the current inhuman debt, one can understand the inhuman plan in total ...understand where this plan started just to bring all states at the same end ...understand how this type of plans are established...


    February 3, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  10. Shaun O.

    Check out the angel.

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  11. Shaun O.

    HR 6550 – Rep. Dennis Kucinich has the plan. 111th Congress summer 2011.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:42 am |
  12. dorian

    To REALIST:: The creator is a Primary Cause and tthere is no need or reason for a Primary Cause to be created. This is primary philosopical logic.It has nothing to do with magic and may or may not be interpreted theologically. Obviously. you haven't taken philosophy 101 or you would not be "running off the rails with your rants" in the words of GUEST! Read Aristotle's theory of Primary Causes..

    October 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  13. Delusional

    Crazy Evolution. Like we suddenly and randomly came about. How foolish. Rather God suddenly came to be. God did not need a creator as he just poof appeared in order to create the entire universe and than our little bitty planet with all its inhabitants, only to make us the most special of all.

    October 27, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
  14. Halloween ideas

    put a cross with jesus' head missing on it in your front lawn, to scare kids.

    October 27, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  15. pasigiri

    And the pope will get his wish soon enough though I'm pretty sure he has know idea what he's asking for. He should read the Bible and quit playing god. A REAL Christian knows EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

    The ax is at the root you brood of vipers.

    October 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Daniel Huddleston

      Yes I understand perfectly,
      Revelations 13:16-17
      16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

      17 and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  16. Reality

    o Reiteration is great for the learning process. As is reading and rational thinking followed by conclusions based on all of it.

    For the refrigerator doors at the Vatican, a PowerPoint slide:


    October 26, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  17. G-D

    Antidote = anti/theist

    October 26, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • G-D

      Anti/theist as in anti\christ

      October 26, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  18. Hanne Schramm

    If the Vatican, which includes the catholic Churches, wants to play politics, it is time to call for taxation of all catholic Churches.

    October 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Realist

      Tax them anyway. They already have more grant writers than any other organization in the US. They thrive off our taxes. Yet they were also the main cause children needed help, the abuse crisis. What a filthy organization.

      October 26, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Guest

      Realist ,,,,, you need to up your meds. You're really running off the rails with your rants. You get crazier and crazier everytime you post. Even when you were "Pete" you were nuts.

      October 26, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • Realist

      Sorry to see the truth bothers you, guest.

      October 26, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • Realist

      Did your god ever tell you how he never needed to be created? Why not? So the religious choose to go with magic, a god that always was. That is even sillier.

      October 27, 2011 at 8:04 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.