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Pope says economic policy always needs a moral basis

Pope John Paul II has said that national economic policies that consider only the final balance sheet cannot create the peaceful climate necessary to promote the prosperity of an entire country.

Bolivia's "serious and prolonged financial crisis" has been hardest on the country's poorest citizens, he said on Monday during a meeting with Bolivia's new ambassador to the Vatican, Valentin Abecia Baldivieso.

Economic reforms, the pope said, must have "a human and moral basis" that respects the dignity of each individual, the importance of the family and the creation of a society marked by full participation.

To narrow the gap between rich and poor and reduce social tensions, governments must work for social justice, promote solidarity and offer education and health care, especially to the poorest people, he said.

And the nation's citizens must be encouraged to contribute to the process by upholding the values of "honesty, austerity, responsibility for the common good, solidarity, a spirit of sacrifice and a culture of work," Pope John Paul said.

Catholic News Service

Julian Filochowski on 'A theology of protest in a globalised world' (Independent Catholic News)
Argentine Bishops Invite Consensus On Economic Reform (Catholic World News)
Moral imperatives for addressing structural adjustment and economic reform measures (Religious Working Group on the World Bank & the IMF)

10 Sep 2003