Recession Held as No Excuse for Abandoning Poor

Aide Comments on an Enterprise “Too Big to Fail”

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 26, 2010 ( Even with a global economic crisis, rich countries have the possibility and duty to help poorer ones, says a Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, affirmed this on the most recent edition of Vatican Television’s “Octava Dies.”

“In his now famous speech at Westminster [Hall] in London,” the Jesuit observed, “the Pope recalled an expression that has become common in the course of the recent economic crisis, when governments energetically intervened on a large scale to rescue very important financial institutions on the brink of meltdown.”

Father Lombardi noted the Holy Father’s observation that people said it was “necessary to intervene with the allocation of enormous sums because these institutions were ‘too big to fail.’ The economy of the countries concerned would have been heavily damaged.”

But if these governments were capable of intervening to save great financial institutions, “why are they not [capable of this] when it is a matter of the development of the peoples of the earth, of hunger, of poverty?” Father Lombardi said, commenting on the Pontiff’s reflection. “This is truly too great an objective for it to fail!”

The Vatican spokesman proposed seeing in this light last week’s summit on the Millennium Development Goals.

He suggested the project of the MDGs “calls for the collaboration not only of governments, but of all the active forces of society both in the developed world and in the developing world.”

“For its part,” he added, “the Church makes an effort in her articulations from a spiritual and moral perspective, aware and attentive to fundamental values, clearly outlined in the encyclical ‘Caritas in Veritate.’”

“As Cardinal [Peter] Turkson, president of the [Pontifical] Council for Justice and Peace, reaffirmed in New York,” Father Lombardi noted, “the human person must be at the center of the project of development, he must not be seen as a burden but as an active part of the solution.”

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