While many bristle at the idea of a new world order, a recent statement by the Vatican makes it sound like that could be the answer to our prayers – and shouts and demands. In fact, their new report sounds surprisingly like the weathiest religious empire on Earth is actually throwing in with the 99% who have been protesting for serious financial changes.
The National Catholic Reporter announced Tuesday that the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace was calling for a global authority to manage world economics in an entirely new an ethical way.
The 18-page document sited the reasons for the world’s financial downturn to be behaviors like “selfishness, collective greed and hoarding of goods on a great scale…” They said that world economics needed an “ethic of solidarity” among rich and poor nations, and it urged Wall Street power-elite to examine the impact of their decisions on humanity.
Then, seeming to side with the oppressed masses over the established economic pros, the Vatican called on those who wanted to change economic structures to “not be afraid to propose new ideas, even if they might destabilize pre-existing balances of power that prevail over the weakest. …They are a seed thrown to the ground that will sprout and hurry towards bearing fruit.”
This report issued a strong critique of the global financial system, speaking of “the primacy of being over having,” of “ethics over the economy,” and of “embracing the logic of the global common good.”
It also addresses the importance of “democratic legitimacy” and speaks of “shared government.”
So, it would seem that this new Vatican report demonstrates that those protesting against a broken and corrupt financial system are not expressing some unreasonable niche position. They are simply calling attention to obvious inequities that have now officially been recognized by the Roman Catholic Church!
Those who might be suspicious of this official Church position can take comfort in the fact many Catholic conservatives were not at all happy with the document. For instance, George Weigel, the conservative Catholic writer, took to National Review’s blog to minimize the importance of this new document by saying that the Pontifical Council is “a rather small office in the Roman Curia”. He also insists that their document “doesn’t speak for the pope, it doesn’t speak for ‘the Vatican,’ and it doesn’t speak for the Catholic Church.”
Actually, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is NOT a “small office” at all. It performs a Church-bonified function, and this document is completely consistent with the papal teaching going back to Popes John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II.
In fact, Pope Benedict’s 2009 papal letter addressed to the bishops of the Church, Caritas in Veritate, spoke in no uncertain language about the need for a global political authority to oversee the increasingly complex world economy.
This new Pontifical Council document is extremely important, because while many view the Vatican as elitist, they are now clearly demonstrating that they want to be part of the solution.
It would seem that the Vatican is on the verge of joining the 99%! And perhaps we are on the verge of the prophesied new beginning where “the lion shall lie down with the lamb…” Isaiah 11:6