Holy See Warns of Financial Crisis Worsening

dollar-nov-29-2008NEW YORK, United States – The worldwide financial crisis will become a catastrophe if the dignity of the human person is not protected, the Holy See is cautioning.

This is the warning sounded by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, a day before the Doha conference on progress in international cooperation in development.

The conference begins Saturday and runs through Dec. 2.

“For some time now, we’ve found ourselves in the middle of a financial crisis that could become a catastrophe if it is allowed to affect other crises: economy, food, energy,” the archbishop told Vatican Radio. “It seems that a decided return of the public sector to financial markets is necessary. It is necessary to increase coordination and unity in the search for solutions.

“It is necessary to recover some basic dimensions of finances, that is, the primacy of labor over capital, of human relationships over mere financial transactions, of ethics over the sole criterion of efficacy.”

The Holy See representative recalled that “experts tell us that in this situation it would be highly counterproductive to raise up new barriers, as much for the interchange of goods and services, as for investments. Every protectionist measure of this kind could increase the tension of the current economic situation.”

Above all, Archbishop Migliore affirmed, “criteria more in line with the human person” need to be adopted.

That is why, he concluded, the problem is ethical: “There were already many rules and ethical codes before the crisis; the problem is that great impunity was given to those who didn’t respect them.

“It is also a problem of leadership, of governments’ moral authority at all levels, which have the primary responsibility of protecting citizens, above all workers, those who save, normal people who do not have the possibilities of following the complicated financial engineering and who have to be defended against the tricks and abuse of the smart alecks.”

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