Lord Nicholas Windsor If we can abolish slavery we can end abortion
COMMENT, PAGE 12
Fr James Martin SJ The Bible makes me want to jump for joy EXTRACT, PAGE 9
October 28 2011 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Vatican calls for creation of global government to keep markets in line
BY DAVID V BARRETT
AS PROTESTERS occupied financial districts across western countries, including St Paul’s churchyard in London, a Vatican department has called for a central World Bank leading ultimately to a global political authority.
The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace released a 6,500-word document on Monday entitled “Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority”.
In it the authors make it clear that they are not just talking about setting up another international financial regulator like the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank, but “the establishment of a world political authority” or “global government”.
Meanwhile, at a press conference launching the document, Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said “the basic sentiment” behind the Occupy Wall Street protests was in line with Catholic social teaching. “The Vatican is not behind any of these movements, but the basic inspirations can be the same,” he said.
Starting with quotes from popes over the past four decades, the document is a rallying call to resolve “the economic and financial crisis which the world is going through”. It inveighs against liberal economics, blaming the policy of non-intervention for causing today’s financial crisis. And it quotes Pope Paul VI who “clearly and prophetically denounced the dangers of an economic development conceived in liberalist terms because of its harmful consequences for world equilibrium and peace”.
The report decries economic liberalism, which it says “spurns rules and controls”. The financial crisis, characterised by “selfish
Financial districts across the world have been marked by increased protests by groups demanding more equality and higher taxes for the rich
ness, collective greed and the hoarding of goods on a great scale” is “one devastating effect of these ideologies”, it says.
Citing Blessed John Paul II’s warning in 1991 of the risk of an “idolatry of the market” the authors of the report say that “a road must be taken that is in greater harmony with the dignity and transcendent vocation of the person and the human family”.
This road should be the gradual establishing of a “world political authority”, with broad powers to regulate financial markets and rein in the “inequalities and distortions of capitalist development”.
Such a supranational authority “cannot be imposed by force, coercion or violence, but should be the outcome of a free and shared agreement and a reflection of the permanent and historic needs of the world common good”, the document says, and that it should build on United
Nations bodies. They emphasise that “this transformation will be made at the cost of a gradual, balanced transfer of a part of each nation’s powers to a world authority and to regional authorities”.
Bishop Declan Lang, chairman of the Department of International Affairs of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said the document was “rooted in the Church’s deep concern for the global common good”. He said:
“It is important the Church continues to engage with vital issues, such as the economic and financial crisis, affecting people around the world with the aim of encouraging a better future for all peoples.”
Cafod’s economist Christina Weller welcomed the document, saying: “As the G20 reverts to crisis mode and the woes of the eurozone elbow out pressing global issues of climate change, persisting global poverty, widening inequality and continued instability, the Vatican provides a timely reminder to world leaders of the need for greater vision, greater collaboration and real reforms if the world is to emerge stronger, better and wiser from the global economic crisis.”
But Prof Philip Booth of the Institute of Economic Affairs said that, while the document makes some interesting points, “the position falls apart on close inspection”.
He said the report “wrongly asserts that liberalism is a theoretical ideal divorced from reality. It is quite extraordinary, then, that the document will be proposing a world legal authority when the practical realities are that such authorities become captured by cliques and special interests and are rarely at the service of the people from whom they are so remote. Indeed, they often seem directly opposed to the very values for which the Church stands.”
He also disagreed with the document’s call for greater financial regulation. “If anything, systems of global financial regulation exacerbated the financial crisis because it led to many countries having the same failings in their banking systems at the same time. Indeed, many of the problems we faced were caused by attempts by financial institutions to get round regulations,” he said.
And he was critical of the proposal for a world fund to bail out banks. “Attacks on democracy are arising because of the perceived injustice of banks being bailed out at the expense of taxpayers. The creation of a world bailout fund would raise moral hazard and lead to more reckless behaviour in the financial system and certainly would be perceived as a major injustice by taxpayers,” he said.
Another Catholic economist, Prof Paul Dembinski, Director of the Observatoire de la Finance in Geneva, said he agreed with the document that “politics should be the checking power over the markets”, adding that “nation states have lost power to the markets”.
But Prof Dembinski said such a supra-national authority is “easily said but not so easily built”, considering the nationalistic preferences even within the European Union. Notebook: Page 4 Editorial Comment: Page 13
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Cardinal: the killing of Gaddafi will lead to yet more bloodshed
BY ED WEST
THE KILLING of Colonel Gaddafi has been condemned by the Vatican prelate who tried to prevent the execution of Saddam Hussein.
Speaking to The Catholic Herald Cardinal Renato Martino, who represented the Holy See at the United Nations for a decade and a half during a diplomatic career that spanned half a century, said that he “regretted” that Libyan rebels killed Gaddafi last
Thursday after his convoy was ambushed by Nato forces.
The cardinal, who was in London for a Westminster Cathedral Mass in his new role as Grand Prior of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George, said: “I wanted to hope that this wouldn’t have been the end. He could have been judged at an international tribunal, for which I worked for many years. This would have been the right way to judge him.”
The cardinal, who was part of the Vatican’s diplomatic efforts to prevent both the 1991 and 2003 Gulf Wars, also lobbied against the execution of Saddam Hussein in 2006, called capital punishment “a state crime” and said “you cannot punish a crime with another crime”.
He also expressed fears that Gaddafi’s death would in turn lead to more bloodshed, as happened following the death of Saddam. “You don’t resolve anything with violence,” he said.
And the prelate confirmed that the Vatican was lobbying behind the scenes for the release of Youcef Nadarkhani, the Iranian Christian who has been sentenced to death by the Tehran regime for leaving Islam. Cardinal Martino said there were numerous times when the Holy See secretly secured peaceful ends.
“I hope to have the time to write some of my memories, of things that I have seen personally. Like this particular case,” he said.
Catholic hero of Auschwitz dies at 90
BY DAVID V BARRETT
AUSCHWITZ HERO Jerzy Bielecky has died at the age of 90. Mr Bielecky, a Catholic, rescued his Jewish girlfriend from the death camp in July 1944. He pieced together an SS officer’s uniform and with a stolen pass led Cyla Cybulska past a sleepy guard and out of the camp. “I felt pain in my backbone, where I was expecting to be shot,” he said last year.
The two hid in fields during the day and walked for 10 nights until they reached safety. Mr Bielecky worked for the Polish resistance while Cyla hid with a farm family. The couple did not meet again until 1983. In 1985 the Yad Vashem Institute awarded Mr Bielecki the title Righteous Among the Nations.
Cherie Blair says the Church is pro-women BY ED WEST
THE CHURCH should do more to promote its women in the public eye, the wife of former prime minister Tony Blair has said in an interview.
Cherie Blair told Vatican Radio that she was often told that the Church was “not a women-friendly organisation”, and yet, she said, “go to any church and look who’s there in the congregation... on the alter reading the reading, being Eucharistic ministers, helping in the schools, it’s very much about women.
“I think it’s a tragedy that the Church is not given credit for the role of women and doesn’t promote the role of women whether it’s at parish level right up to the Vatican itself. We need to see the female face more,” she said.
Daniel Kawczynski Libya owes us a great debt PAGE 8
Melanie McDonagh Whatever happened to Irish Halloween? PAGE 12
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