The Vatican called on Monday for the establishment of a "global public authority" and a "central world bank" to rule over financial institutions that have become outdated and often ineffective in dealing fairly with crises.
A major document from the Vatican's Justice and Peace department should be music to the ears of the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrators and similar movements around the world who have protested against the economic downturn.
The 18-page document, "Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of a Global Public Authority," was at times very specific, calling, for example, for taxation measures on financial transactions.
It condemned what it called "the idolatry of the market" as well as a "neo-liberal thinking" that it said looked exclusively at technical solutions to economic problems.
"In fact, the crisis has revealed behaviors like selfishness, collective greed and hoarding of goods on a great scale," it said, adding that world economics needed an "ethic of solidarity" among rich and poor nations.
"If no solutions are found to the various forms of injustice, the negative effects that will follow on the social, political and economic level will be destined to create a climate of growing hostility and even violence, and ultimately undermine the very foundations of democratic institutions, even the ones considered most solid," it said.
It called for the establishment of "a supranational authority" with worldwide scope and "universal jurisdiction" to guide economic policies and decisions.
Such an authority should start with the United Nations as its reference point but later become independent and be endowed with the power to see to it that developed countries were not allowed to wield "excessive power over the weaker countries."
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