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. JF

    To the Pope's credit, at least he's not telling the world to pray the problem away like Rick Perry.

    October 24, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • O.S. Bird

      I was about to post a comment wondering what in the world th epope has to do with economics. I still wonder, but JF made a really good observation – the pope isn't saying we must pray our woes away like a standard evangelical idiot.

      October 24, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • Realist

      The pope deserves no credit, except from those who behave in evil.

      October 25, 2011 at 8:03 am |
    • dori

      Good Comment! Rick Perry needs to STOP sharing his ideas. The more he says the more we know he is totally unqualified to be running as a leader in the US.where religion and state need to be separate. The more we hear him debate, the more we see him put his foot in his mouth with his foolish remarks and he is a very ANGRY man..

      October 30, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  2. hippypoet

    what does the pope do anymore anyway? besides give massively long sermans in like 10 languages... i mean he is more like a international consultant then a religious leader now.

    October 24, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • hippypoet

      isn't he supposed be all humble and sh!t...why the silk, anyone know? why the palace? i can understand the guards, when you lie to so many people there are bound to be some very unhappy folks!

      October 24, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
  3. Bearer Of Bad News

    The pope is an expert on worldwide trade and fiscal planning. /sarcasm

    Isn't the vatican losing money right now? Yeah, I'll be sure to take the advice of an organization known for torturing hundreds of thousands of people they thought were witches.

    October 24, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  4. Central Scrutinizer

    Oooh, I'm the Central Scrutinizer, I am smarter than you. Walk your bike. Shut your mouth. Eat your tots. I am so much more clever you, syou should bow down and worship me!

    October 24, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • hippypoet

      yummy tots

      October 24, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • B-b

      That would be better than worshipping a god, in at least one way: you apparently exist.

      All hail our new master, Central Scrutinizer. Where do we send our money?

      October 24, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Send it to the troll under the bridge. This is a pale imitation of CS, and probably has no ballz.

      October 24, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wait a second – I think I've got it. Balls. Yeeeha! Balls, balls, balls. I knew I could spell it if I tried hard enough!

      October 24, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Say, Tom Tom, have you had that original thought yet? We're all waiting. Well, not really. But don't worry, we'll know it when you do. Sad thing is, you probably won't.

      October 24, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  5. Realist

    Vatican is the problem

    October 24, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  6. harmonynoyes

    I would read this article but
    my cat wants me to tickle him now, he likes that

    October 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  7. Guest

    Anyone care to make a bet on the people who are posting their sarcastic and snarky comments haven't even read the Vatican statement that?

    October 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Realist

      Who cares.. The vatican lobbies to stop laws that would bring justice to children victims. They are the problem. On wall street there are those who lobby against the vatican, they buy politicians with catholic votes. That is WRONG.

      October 24, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Guest

      Okay, there is one who is making comments without any idea what he's talking about.

      October 24, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • Bearer Of Bad News

      Why should anyone take the vatican's statement seriously?

      1. Their income is down
      2. They protect pedo priests
      3. They got really popular by torturing and killing hundreds of thousands of suspected witches
      4. Their churches don't pay taxes in the states

      They've got their own little country. Whenever they figure out how to probably manage that place, then maybe they can move onto bigger and better things. Like science.

      October 24, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Guest

      We're up to two now. Notice that they don't argue the issue, they only want to spew their own little tidbit of venom and crap.

      October 24, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • Realist

      Not true.. As a victim, I know quite well the disgust of the pope and the vatican. The bishops lobbied in NY State to ensure a Bill would NOT be passed into law that would expose the truth. Not sure where you get your data from, mine is first hand – many other victims.

      BTW, one that abused me, abused another who committed suicide. His mother cried to her death.

      In NY state alone, we have identified over 1,000 child abusing bishops and priests, many around children today. A bishop abused me, he protects other pedos.

      Again, my data is fact and first hand. Where's your data from?

      October 24, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Bearer Of Bad News

      Guest, have anything insightful to say or are you just going to sit here and whine like a 2 year old girl about how you aren't happy with the comments?

      October 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Guest You are the only one on this subthread not arguing the issues.

      October 25, 2011 at 4:46 am |
  8. Brian

    Don't worry,the greed of free enterprise will take care of all these problems. Greed is good.

    October 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  9. daithebui

    this is Gods callin, give back the land to Gods people, we know how to make us happy and free. ps GODS messenger

    October 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • The Illinois Enema Bandit

      Let my people go to a land where the enemas are free (if not unexpected) and be cleansed!

      October 24, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Gene

      The Pope and Catholic Church are the 1%, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di04_vKfqNw

      October 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • The Illinois Enema Bandit

      Give that old Pope fuker a good enema. It will clean him out and get him thinking straight:

      The M&M { Milk and Molasses} enema was a favorite of many old-time nurses who thought that the major cramping that it produced was the only way to get a good cleanout. Milk and molasses in enemas produce large amounts of gas in the colon which causes severe cramping.
      103º Fahrenheit is a good temperature for this enema. (about 39.5º Celsius).

      It has been suggested that you needed at least 2 qts. of the solution to be effective. However I have found that 8 oz. of each will produce a very powerful expulsion.

      One of the most powerful enemas that I have experienced in my life.

      Use equal amounts of milk and "blackstrap" molasses {it is a strong-flavored type often used in baking.} You won't need a large volume; a 1/2 pint (8oz.) of each will be sufficient. Heat the milk in a saucepan, then slowly add the molasses stirring as you do so, remove from heat, and mix thoroughly. The molasses being added will reduce the temperature somewhat, cool the mixture to 103º Fahrenheit, then it will be ready to administer.

      For a powerful enema, this one is worth the little extra effort. Your bowels will react almost immediately and it will be extremely difficult to hold for long. Some people use a retention device to help retain this enema solution.

      This enema will produce severe cramping !!

      Enema Recipe:

      8 oz.of warm molasses and 8 oz. of warm milk. 103º Fahrenheit
      You can use this 1/2 qt. of solution by itself or you can add 1 or 2 quarts of warm water to the enema bag for a large volume or high enema.
      When we say , large volume or high enema , we mean an enema that slightly distends the entire colon. Not necessarily an enema that uses a long colon tube to reach the ascending colon.

      Enjoy friends!

      October 24, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  10. JT

    As long as the cash flows towards the Vatican then they (the RCC) couldn't care less. And bring your children of course.

    October 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  11. The Illinois Enema Bandit

    I need me some James Brown about right now.

    October 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  12. sean

    This is not so much a call to support OWS by the Vatican, but rather a push for a large, international organization to control economies. A New World order for all the money.

    October 24, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • becca

      yes it seems that way, i totally agree! everything is pointing in that direction to control finances

      October 24, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Pope Bentdikk LXIX

      Are you really not aware that the Church has lusted to be the New World Order since it was founded?

      October 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • maccabeus24

      Ever wonder why there are so many Catholic hospitals and charities, yet there are no Free Mason hospitals and charities? The Catholic Church cares about the people, the hidden power structures of the world only care about themselves. That's why its a mortal sin for a Catholic to be a Free Mason. That's why Church Groups like the Militia Immaculata work hard against those secret society elites. The One World Order is not a move for the people, but for the Elites. You really should reassess who your enemies are, my friends. You have clearly allowed those with power to manipulate you by way of your passions and emotional biases. Do you really believe the Church is your enemy?? Do you really feel oppressed by the Pope?? Let go of this straw man enemy you've built up in your mind and take a look at who is really oppressing you!

      October 24, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • tready

      Exactly, and what does the bible say about a global world order!!

      October 24, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It doesn't say anything about it, you delusional boob.

      October 24, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Bearer Of Bad News

      Revelation 13 is abut the "new world order" the fundies rave about.

      October 24, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • Ralph

      @maccabeus24: “Ever wonder why there are so many Catholic hospitals and charities”
      No I haven’t wondered because it’s totally obvious, the catholic church uses it’s charities as bait to lure in the poor uneducated masses.

      Ever wonder why the Catholic church smuggled so many Nazi war criminals out of Germany and into South America at the end of WWII

      October 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  13. Captain America

    the Pope backs the protesters? I like it. Go Pope.

    October 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  14. Reality

    For those who are reading challenged:




    Added details upon request.

    October 24, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Cut and Paste is Such a Bore

      Expect no requests.

      October 24, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Bill

      Please post details. The more, the better.

      October 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • harmonynoyes

      Your reality is only in YOUR head,
      You are not the "new world leader"
      You can't brainwash people because they have intuition too,
      You may not be as smart as you believe you are,
      Take it down a notch, or two

      October 24, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • harmonynoyes

      You really care that much about everyone to be saving them from their"false beliefs" -
      I guess we'll all be comin' to your house for Thanksgiving then,
      and we will be complaining if the food's not ready!

      October 24, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      3., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      5. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current crises:

      The caste system and cow worship/reverence.

      6. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      October 24, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  15. jj

    Can you say New World Order?

    October 24, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  16. Wholly Mary

    Can you say HYPOCRITE?!?!

    October 24, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • harmonynoyes

      Well like Mother Terese said, everyone's a hypocrite,
      But at least she got in there and did some dirty work for people who needed it,
      She did good in God's name
      You can scoff, deride, or analyze it away, but it seems holy to me, definitely not easy, better than some negative numbers game science project designed by pseudo -intellectuals whose world power domination dreams xclude empathy to the point of criminal insanity
      Who is it we're supposed to be afraid of?" I bet it's not the real jesus and the saints.

      October 24, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Yeah, she did some dirty work, alright.

      October 25, 2011 at 4:49 am |
  17. ComeAgainBaltoMD


    October 24, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  18. Peter Q Wolfe

    Nobody is listening to the Pope or any religious leader cause of the dawn of the death of organized religion is upon us. It is time for ehical capitalism the fourth way of economics merging a universal currency fixed stable and not able to be betted on for profit or gain. It is time for reforms for the World Bank to include the east and the imf/world bank to be more transparent, accountable and stop human right violations. Finally, it is time for the western hemisphere to be more inclusive in markets particularly in development like China in WB in autonomy rather include Russia in the WTO.

    October 24, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Judy

      Get back Satan!

      October 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Satan

      Get down, Judy. You have work to do.

      October 24, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  19. Arcandciel

    Who the hell is writing those long endless messages? lcgdotorg is much more intelligent....

    October 24, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  20. ComeAgainBaltoMD

    Huzzah!!!! The Papal Blowhard is speaking up against those terrible terrible people with whom the Vatican has invested it's trillions of ill-gotten gold pieces.

    October 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
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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.