It's About Morals, Not Dollars, Says Vatican Aide

Urges a Broader Look at Economic Crisis

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 14, 2008 ( For a problem that is not exclusively financial, there needs to be a solution that is not exclusively financial, a Vatican representative is recalling.

Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said this on Vatican Radio when he discussed the ongoing worldwide economic crisis.

«The crisis that the world is currently living is not just financial, and therefore the solution cannot be purely financial,» he said. Instead, the economic crisis «verifies what the Church’s social doctrine has said for a long time: When an economic-financial system goes into crisis, it is never due to economic of financial motives, but because in its origin, there has been a wound in the global moral system.»

In this sense, the prelate indicated that at the origin, there is a «crisis of trust.»

«Everyone is speaking of it, of again establishing mutual trust so as to resolve the crisis,» he said. But trust «is not an economic or financial element, but rather an ethical attitude.

«When the market erodes this ethical attitude, all of us know that it is no longer in a state of being reconstructed by itself.»

The Vatican official contended that three elements are key for bettering the situation: «the market, on one side, the state on the other, and also civil society. And this, precisely to respond to those demands and inspirations that come from the principle of subsidiarity.»

According to the social doctrine of the Church, Bishop Crepaldi continued, «it is necessary to look with more wisdom at the market and the role that it can have.»

«We would not have gotten to where we are now if we would have treated the market as a means and not an end,» he affirmed.

Finally, the prelate made a call to the G-20 nations who will meet Saturday, urging them to work in accord with the resolutions from the Doha conference.

«The fear is that the current financial crisis undermines the work and commitments made by the nations and the international community to finance development,» he said. Instead, the bishop expressed his hope that the G-20 nations will «confirm [aid for poor countries] and take this on with a greater sense of responsibility.»

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