VATICAN CITY, NOV. 4, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) held a meeting to analyze and explain to religious institutes the state of the global economic crisis.
This meeting took place Tuesday in the Vatican, in an attempt to project the duration of the crisis and plan for future scenarios.
The initiative was part of a series of periodic quarterly meetings that IOR has organized for more than five years in its own headquarters to support and assist the Church, particularly religious congregations, in addressing their own needs of a financial and economic nature.
Benedict XVI’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, opened the meeting together with the IOR president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi. The Italian minister of economy and finance, Giulio Tremonti, was also present, along with Enrique Iglesias, secretary general of the Ibero-American Conference.
In his intervention, as reported by L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Bertone stressed the global dimension of the present crisis: “We cannot be indifferent to the foreseeable, complex and great geopolitical changes that the evolution of the global crisis could determine.”
He continued, “It is necessary to be aware that the foreseeable changes of economic power leave out changes of public power, and that an economic power also leaves out a cultural power, which is diffused and exported.”
“Such a process can entail a new and not necessarily better view about the dignity of man,” added the cardinal.
Tremonti stated that “in the economic-financial world — with the birth of the G20 and the added weight of emerging countries in the International Monetary Fund — English will no longer be recognized as lingua franca, the dollar as the coin of reference and Western democracy as model to be followed.”
Today’s world, the politician said, needs transparent norms to regulate finance, rules that at the local level must be accompanied by policies characterized by rigor and austerity. He added that the defense of man’s dignity must be the common denominator.
In his intervention Tedeschi explained that the lack of an ethical vision of the economy was in fact what generated the financial crisis, which exploded to sustain fictitiously on credit an impossible growth of the gross domestic product, given low birth rates.
Iglesias pointed to Latin America as the “subcontinent of the future” due to its 600 million people with an average age of 27 and its enormous riches in raw materials. He noted that 46% of the sources of water are found there.