Bankers Challenged to Humanize Economy

Pope Receives Directors of French Institution

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 10, 2001 ( John Paul II is convinced that globalization will only be humanized if the economy places man at its center.

The Holy Father expressed this conviction Saturday when he met with directors of Crédit Agricole, France´s largest bank.

The «context of an ever more globalized economy obliges enterprises to conquer new markets, often adopting aggressive development strategies, linked to the imperatives of results and profitability,» the Pope said.

«This economic logic generates scandalous inequalities among countries,» the Bishop of Rome said. «The international debt of poor countries is a major obstacle to the growth process of numerous nations, because it compromises the local economy and the integral development of individuals, and endangers family life and the future of societies.»

Addressing the bank´s directors, including board president Marc Bué, John Paul II said that «in proposing that humanist values be associated with progress and the development of man in business and the economy,» Crédit Agricole works «to affirm the peace and solidarity of mankind.»

However, the Holy Father requested the bankers to take an even greater step.

«I encourage you to base your decision on a Christian view of man and humanity, in order to contribute effectively to the construction of a world in which political and economic options truly respond to the most profound aspirations of new generations,» he said.

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