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Posts Tagged ‘Moral Crisis’

Financial Crisis Rooted in Rejection of Ethics

In Uncategorized on 2013/06/28 at 12:00 AM

“Our human family,” the Pope said, “is presently experiencing something of a turning point in its own history, if we consider the advances made in various areas. We can only praise the positive achievements which contribute to the authentic welfare of mankind, in fields such as those of health, education and communications. At the same time, we must also acknowledge that the majority of the men and women of our time continue to live daily in situations of insecurity, with dire consequences. Certain pathologies are increasing, with their psychological consequences; fear and desperation grip the hearts of many people, even in the so-called rich countries; the joy of life is diminishing; indecency and violence are on the rise; poverty is becoming more and more evident. People have to struggle to live and, frequently, to live in an undignified way. One cause of this situation, in my opinion, is in the our relationship with money, and our acceptance of its power over ourselves and our society. Consequently the financial crisis which we are experiencing makes us forget that its ultimate origin is to be found in a profound human crisis. In the denial of the primacy of human beings! We have created new idols. The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.”

“The worldwide financial and economic crisis,” the pontiff observed, “seems to highlight their distortions and above all the gravely deficient human perspective, which reduces men and women to just one of their needs alone, namely, consumption. Worse yet, human beings themselves are nowadays considered as consumer goods which can be used and thrown away. We have started down the path of a disposable culture. This tendency is seen on the level of individuals and whole societies; and it is being promoted! In circumstances like these, solidarity, which is the treasure of the poor, is often considered counterproductive, opposed to the logic of finance and the economy. While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling. This imbalance results from ideologies which uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and thus deny the right of control to States, which are themselves charged with providing for the common good. A new, invisible and at times virtual, tyranny is established, one which unilaterally and irremediably imposes its own laws and rules. Moreover, indebtedness and credit distance countries from their real economy and citizens from their real buying power. Added to this, as if it were needed, is widespread corruption and selfish fiscal evasion which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The will to power and of possession has become limitless.”

“Concealed behind this attitude,” the Bishop of Rome warned, “is a rejection of ethics, a rejection of God. Ethics, like solidarity, is a nuisance! It is regarded as counterproductive: as something too human, because it relativizes money and power; as a threat, because it rejects manipulation and subjection of people: because ethics leads to God, who is situated outside the categories of the market. These financiers, economists and politicians consider God to be unmanageable, God is unmanageable, even dangerous, because He calls man to his full realization and to independence from any kind of slavery. Ethics—naturally, not the ethics of ideology—makes it possible, in my view, to create a balanced social order that is more humane. In this sense, I encourage the financial experts and the political leaders of your countries to consider the words of Saint John Chrysostom: ‘Not to share one’s goods with the poor is to rob them and to deprive them of life. It is not our goods that we possess, but theirs’.”

The Pope asserted that “there is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone. This would nevertheless require a courageous change of attitude on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and farsightedness, taking account, naturally, of their particular situations. Money has to serve, not to rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but the Pope has the duty, in Christ’s name, to remind the rich to help the poor, to respect them, to promote them. The Pope appeals for disinterested solidarity and for a return to person-centred ethics in the world of finance and economics.”

“For her part, the Church,” he reiterated, “always works for the integral development of every person. In this sense, she reiterates that the common good should not be simply an extra, simply a conceptual scheme of inferior quality tacked onto political programmes. The Church encourages those in power to be truly at the service of the common good of their peoples. She urges financial leaders to take account of ethics and solidarity. And why should they not turn to God to draw inspiration from his designs? In this way, a new political and economic mindset would arise that would help to transform the absolute dichotomy between the economic and social spheres into a healthy symbiosis.”

Finally, Francis greeted—through the ambassadors—the faithful of the Catholic communities present in their respective countries, urging them “to continue their courageous and joyful witness of faith and fraternal love in accordance with Christ’s teaching. Let them not be afraid to offer their contribution to the development of their countries, through initiatives and attitudes inspired by the Sacred Scriptures!”

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Papal Warning

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/08/24 at 11:11 PM

Here follows the famous statement made in 1998 by then Cardinal Ratzinger.  It alerted many Christians to the current religious peril.

“The great moral crisis of the Western World broke out in the sixties and seventies…in the face of the deep moral contradictions of the West and of its internal helplessness, combined with the sudden opposition by the new economic power of the Arab countries, the Islamic soul reawakened.

Islam believes that they are now somebody too; they know who they are; that their religion is holding its ground; we no have one any longer.

This is actually the feeling today of the Muslim world, what they believe: ‘The Western countries are no longer capable of preaching message of morality but have only knowhow to offer the world. That Christian religion has abdicated; that it really no longer exists as a religion; that the Christians no longer have a morality or a faith; all that’s left are a few remains of some modern ideas of enlightenment, while they have the religion that—stands the test.’

So the Muslims now have the consciousness that in reality Islam has remained in the end as the more vigorous religion and that they have something to say to the world, indeed, are the essential religious force of the future. Now there is a new pride. Thus a new zest, a new intensity about wanting to live Islam has awakened. This is its great power: They say: ‘We have a moral message that has existed without interruption since the prophets, and we will tell the World how to live it, whereas the Christians certainly can’t.’

We must naturally come to terms with this inner power of Islam, which fascinates even academic circles.”

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in SALT OF THE EARTH: The Church at the end of the millennium (interview by Peter Seewald). pp. 243/244. Ignatius Press.  http://www.ignatius.com/Products/SOE-P/salt-of-the-earth.aspx