Vatican again urges radical reform of global marketplace


TRADE ISSUES:FOR THE second time in the last month, the Holy See has argued that international trade markets need to be radically reformed.

The point was made by secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone who, at a Vatican meeting of European Bishops’ Conferences on the New Evangelisation yesterday said: “The [global] crisis illustrates clearly the untenability of a market that has become totally self-referential . . .

“This present difficult situation prompts a whole series of new questions about the responsibilities and the ethics of the marketplace; it urgently asks a fundamental question about the destiny, dignity and spiritual vocation of man . . . ”

These comments from Pope Benedict XVI’s closest adviser come less than a month after the Holy See’s pontifical council for justice and peace presented a document which called for the establishment of a world economic authority to best handle the current global crisis.

Entitled Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority, that document argued that during a period of huge economic growth, from 1900 to 2000, “economic liberalism” had found it hard “to apply and consolidate . . . controls and rules” with regard to market functioning.

The document concluded by calling for a radical reform of the international monetary system, such as the creation of “some form of global monetary management” or “central world bank”.

The cardinal’s observations placed the global crisis in the context of a changing world which was seen “a critical, at times dramatic evolution of the religious experience”, as traditional Christian teachings, especially on sexual mores, have come ever more into “open conflict” with an intolerant lay tradition.