Money Crisis Points to More, Warn Europe Prelates

Say Economy Based on Endless Consumption Is Doomed

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BRUSSELS, Belgium, NOV. 14, 2008 ( Worldwide economic strain is a symptom of a deeper, spiritual crisis and a mistaken set of values, say European bishops.

This was an affirmation from the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community at the end of their autumn plenary assembly, which closed today.

«The sense and value of human work has been pushed to the background in the general struggle for profit,» the bishops stated.

Bishop Adrianus Van Luyn of Rotterdam, Netherlands, the president of the commission, contended that the crisis should not be underestimated.

«Whoever considers the cause of the financial crisis to reside solely in a lack of transparency and legal accountability is perhaps overlooking the fact that it is far more our societal model that is being called into question,» he said. «An economic model that is based on the continued and unlimited consumption of limited resources can only end in tears.»

In the same vein, the bishops’ commission affirmed that the climate change issue also points to the need for a shift in values.

«‘Moderation’ as a central virtue should constitute the core of this change of lifestyle,» they said. «It is up to Christians to make their fellow citizens aware that moderation can be synonymous with quality of life and with happiness, because it helps to distinguish the essential from the superfluous.»

In a related area, the prelates also called for the respect of Sunday rest, an issue that the bishops want included in the Working Time Directive, set for Parliament vote by the middle of next month.

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