Caritas in Veritate seeks an ethical globalisation to drive development
07 July 2009
Caritas Internationalis says the emphasis on justice and the common good in Pope Benedict XVI’s new encyclical Caritas in Veritate offers a new vision of economics, politics and society based on shared duty to care for humanity and the environment.
The encyclical reflects on Pope Paul VI’s Populorum Progressio more than 40 years after its publication in the light of globalisation and the collapse of the unregulated free market economy in 2008.
Caritas Internationalis Secretary-General Lesley-Anne Knight said, “Caritas in Veritate highlights how a blind pursuit of profits over ethics had become detrimental to people and the planet. The encyclical comes at a key moment for development with decades of progress at risk. The number of people going hungry has increased by 100 million to over a billion last year.
“The crisis exposed systemic failures generated by careless speculation for the benefit of a handful of people and at the expense of millions of poor families. But the crisis offers a unique chance to refashion globalisation to work for the majority.
“The encyclical offers concrete steps that policy makers should explore to put us back on the path to true development. The encyclical reminds us that finance and business can work for all of humanity not just the share-holder. A return to an equitable model based on collective duty is key in closing the gap between the haves and have-nots.
“Caritas welcomes Pope Benedict’s focus on improving aid. As the G8 meets in L’Aquila, rich countries like France and Italy are cutting aid to the poorest. We appeal to them to meet their promise of committing 0.7 percent of GNI to overseas aid and to making aid work for the poor rather than the donor.
“The Pope’s challenge to reform the United Nations and economic institutions is timely. The UN, IMF and the World Bank need to ensure greater participation of poor countries in decision making.
“Pope Benedict speaks of our ‘grave duty’ to protecting the environment . We hope world leaders are listening to his calls for an international consensus and that the polluters must pay the costs as they meet for talks in Copenhagen in December. As the Pope says, individuals in rich countries must change lifestyles and their consumption without responsibility if we are to protect resources.
“The message to humanitarian and development workers worldwide is that in our love of humankind we strive for justice and the common good. Caritas welcomes the affirmation that true charity looks at the causes of poverty and the means to overcome it.”
For more information, please contact Patrick Nicholson on 0039 334 359 0700 or firstname.lastname@example.org