Friday, July 10, 2009

Pope Speaks Out Against Greed

Pope Benedict XVI has put out a new paper, ‘Caritas in Veritate’ or ‘charity in truth’. In this paper he has called for a new financial order, one that is centred more around ethics and the common good. It was released just before the G8 conference.

In this paper, the Pope spoke out against greed and the focus on profits. He also said there should be a world authority that manages the global economy, helps work towards food security and protects the environment. Plus, he asked be a new way of understanding business, where workers are respected and ethics and social responsibility and prioritised over profits.

I don’t know how much good any of this will do. But I am glad he is speaking up about it. There is a problem with the current global economy. Power belongs to the wealthy. When the focus is on profits, ethics and social responsibility suffers. We seem to care more for money than we do for people. And that’s not good.

Whatever is seen as most important in a world is the thing that will take priority over all other things. At the moment, profits is seen as more important than people. The duty corporations have to their shareholders is greater than the duty that they have to the common good. And in an environment like that, people will suffer. Alleviating the poverty of others is not as important as increasing the dividends for a company.

It is a selfish world. A world where, by their very nature, corporations must seek what benefits them, rather than what benefits mankind. If a corporation finds a cure for some disease, they need to explore the best way of making money out of that cure, instead of seeing how it can best help others. And that’s just one example. Individuals can be selfless. Corporations can’t. And more and more, the world is impacted by corporations in this market driven economy.

As a Christian, I believe that caring for people is way more important than accumulating wealth. There are a lot of verses in the bible where God asks us to care for the poor. And we should also speak out against situations where the poor and the marginalised suffer because of man’s greed. Globalisation has brought benefits to people. But it has also disadvantaged people. We should do what we can to ensure that globalisation works for the common good, rather than the profits of a few.

We need to move the focus back onto ethics and the social responsibility. We need to start treat people more important than profits. We need to recognise the dignity and worth of everyone.

Whether this actually should take the form of a world authority as Pope Benedict XVI suggests, I don’t know. But something has to be done. If it’s not, then people will continue to suffer, poverty will continue to grow and the push for profits will continue to ensure that everyone is only working for their own selfish gain.

For more information, please see these articles:

By Eric Reguly
(8 July 2009, The Globe and Mail)

No comments:

Post a Comment


Bookmark and Share

Blog Patrol