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Financial Crisis not only Financial PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Sunday, 16 November 2008 11:39
I have an hour to cool my heels in the Phoenix airport - seemingly one of the busiest I've encountered in my years of hopping around the country. I slipped outside the crowded concourse and found a relatively quiet hall with an electrical outlet to re-power my Mac and go online. I found this interesting comment on the current global financial crisis from Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

"The crisis that the world is currently living is not just financial, and therefore the solution cannot be purely financial," he said. Instead, the economic crisis "verifies what the Church's social doctrine has said for a long time: When an economic-financial system goes into crisis, it is never due to economic or financial motives, but because in its origin, there has been a wound in the global moral system."

Part of the origin of the problem is a "crisis of trust."

"Everyone is speaking of it, of again establishing mutual trust so as to resolve the crisis," he said. But trust "is not an economic or financial element, but rather an ethical attitude.

"When the market erodes this ethical attitude, all of us know that it is no longer in a state of being reconstructed by itself."

Crepaldi contended that three elements are key for bettering the situation: "the market, on one side, the state on the other, and also civil society." According to the social doctrine of the Church, Bishop Crepaldi continued, "it is necessary to look with more wisdom at the market and the role that it can have."

"We would not have gotten to where we are now if we would have treated the market as a means and not an end."

In a fallen world in which human beings are prone to greed, self-absorption, and the tendency to treat other human beings as means to ends, rather than ends in themselves, any socio-economic system is going to be imperfect, and each will have its own aspects that can be turned to evil. All the more reason for Catholic lay people to choose to be out of step with the tired old "way we do things," to escape the tendency to groupthink, and to take the risk of putting their faith into practice in the marketplace in innovative ways that promote the common good.

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