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CURRENT ISSUE:  June 22, 2009
VOL. 47, NO. 12   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
Specter of social-service cuts has local charities preparing for the worst
Catholic hospital officials address healthcare reform
Pope calls for more equitable
economic model

ROME (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI called for a new world economic culture that gives priority to solidarity, ethics and human dignity.

The crisis that has affected industrialized and developing nations alike shows that “certain economic-financial paradigms that have been dominant in recent years need to be rethought,” he said June 13 to members of the “Centesimus Annus” Foundation meeting in Rome. “Centesimus Annus,” Latin for the 100th year, refers to a 1991 encyclical by Pope John Paul II that dealt with the economy and all its ramifications for society.

Pope Benedict praised the group for seeking to promote a new economic model “that pays more attention to solidarity and is more respectful of human dignity,” than the one that has led to the current crisis and increased disparity between rich and poor.

The pope will soon issue his own encyclical on social and economic justice, tentatively titled “Caritas in Veritate” (“Love in Truth”). He told the group that it would address “the vast theme of economy and work.”

It will list “those objectives that we Christians must pursue and the values we must tirelessly promote in order for people to truly live together in freedom and solidarity,” he said.

Michel Camdessus, former head of the Bank of France and managing director of the International Monetary Fund until 2000, spoke during the foundation’s meeting. He blamed a system of “individual and collective greed and a desire to have more” that led to an inevitable breakdown of the economy.

The crisis of 2008-09 occurred “in a cultural context in which we were totally blinded,” he said. “All rules and regulations were abandoned,” Camdessus said.

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