New Vatican Document on Economy Released (Updated)

While the text is not yet available online [UPDATE: Link to full text!], news reports outline the new text titled, “Toward Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority,” drafted by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Here is a brief overview published by Catholic News Service this morning.  For more information, see the links below.

VATICAN CITY — A Vatican document called for the gradual creation of a “world political authority” with broad powers to regulate financial markets and rein in the “inequalities and distortions of capitalist development.”

The document said the current global financial crisis has revealed “selfishness, collective greed and the hoarding of goods on a great scale.” A supranational authority, it said, is needed to place the common good at the center of international economic activity.

The 16-page text was titled, “Toward Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority.” Prepared by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, it was released Oct. 24 in several languages, including a provisional translation in English.

The document cited the teachings of popes over the last 40 years on the need for a universal public authority that would transcend national interests. The current economic crisis, which has seen growing inequality between the rich and poor of the world, underlines the necessity to take concrete steps toward creating such an authority, it said.

One major step, it said, should be reform of the international monetary system in a way that involves developing countries. The document foresaw creation of a “central world bank” that would regulate the flow of monetary exchanges.

The document also proposed:

– Taxation measures on financial transactions. Revenues could contribute to the creation of a “world reserve fund” to support the economies of countries his by crisis, it said.

– Forms of recapitalization of banks with public funds that make support conditional on “virtuous” behavior aimed at developing the real economy.

– More effective management of financial “shadow markets” that are largely uncontrolled today.

Such moves would be designed to make the global economy more responsive to the needs of the person, and less “subordinated to the interests of countries that effectively enjoy a position of economic and financial advantage,” it said.

In making the case for a global authority, the document said the continued model of nationalistic self-interest seemed “anachronistic and surreal” in the age of globalization.

“We should not be afraid to propose new ideas, even if they might destabilize pre-existing balances of power that prevail over the weakest,” it said.

The “new world dynamics,” it said, call for a “gradual, balanced transfer of a part of each nation’s powers to a world authority and to regional authorities.”

“In a world on its way to rapid globalization, the reference to a world authority becomes the only horizon compatible with the new realities of our time and the needs of humankind,” it said. Helping to usher in this new society is a duty for everyone, especially for Christians, it said.

Additional Reports about new Vatican document.

UPDATE: Link to full text.

Photo: AFP/Getty Images
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4 Responses to “New Vatican Document on Economy Released (Updated)”

  1. Wow! The Vatican is right on with this! A lot of people in the U.S. who consider themselves to be “poor,” are actually doing really well when compared to how folks lived in the not-so-distant past. If you had a car and color television, you were pretty well off. Also, two parents did not have to work in order to provide for children. Very interesting post, Brother. Whether we like it or not, a world economy is evolving and it is simply going to happen.

  2. As of 12:45pm Arizona time, the two links to the full text do not work. Was the full text taken down already?

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