Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, addressed representatives of Caritas Internationalis on the economic crisis facing much of the world.
Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga had invited the academic to address the 100th Executive Committee meeting of the confederation’s founding 60 years ago.
The Caritas Internationalis Executive Committee is composed of Caritas representatives from around the world. They are responsible for day-to-day governance issues of the 160 member confederation and for promoting its global agenda.
Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences aims to promote the study and progress of economics, sociology, law and political science to support the development of the Catholic Church’s social doctrine.
Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo told Caritas delegates that finance and the economy can benefit society if they are tailored towards the common good, but financial institutions can be destructive if unregulated.
He saidn “a large number of people around the world believe we are headed in the wrong direction”. He pointed to the protest movements in North Africa and the Middle East, Europe and North America as examples.
“Economics must not be exclusive,” he said. The bishop urged us to see economics in the context of other issues such as sustainable energy, the environment, education and social issues such as drug use and prostitution rather than just GDP.
Bishop Sánchez urged the use of more sustainable energy sources rather than coal, oil or nuclear power.
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences published in April a report, ‘Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene’, looking at the melting of mountain glaciers.
Bishop Sánchez referred back to the study, telling the Caritas meeting that changes to the glaciers normally occur every 10,000 years, but this new human-induced phase is moving at a 10-100 year cycle.
On finance, the Bishop said it was ridiculous that global finance wasn’t taxed and said the Tobin/Robin Hood Tax on international financial transactions made economic common sense.
He said for the Catholic Church can provide the ‘faith horizon’ to get the world back on the right path, and urged Caritas leaders to focus on reason and faith as roots towards a new evangelisation.
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