ROME, March 30, 2012 ( – The global economic crisis has been caused by moral failings in a society that has abandoned traditional universal moral precepts, according to a joint Jewish/Catholic statement issued today from the Vatican. The foundation of a just economic order, the statement says, is the guarantee of “protection of life,” followed by the guarantee of “certain basic human needs, such as … sustenance, clothing, housing, health, education and employment.”

At the root of the crisis “lies a crisis of moral values in which the importance of having, reflected in a culture of greed, eclipsed the importance of being; and where the value of truth reflected in honesty and transparency was sorely lacking in economic activity.”

“Furthermore the crisis has revealed the profound lack of the ethical component in economic thinking,” continued the statement.

“The purpose of an economic order is to serve the wellbeing of society, affirming the human dignity of all people, each created in the Divine Image.”

The statement comes at the conclusion of three days of meetings of the Bilateral Commission of the Delegations of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with Jews, held in Rome from March 27th to 29th.

Primary among the solutions to the crisis, the delegates said, must be the encouragement of an economics of “enough” rather than insatiable consumption. For this to happen requires “a degree of self-limitation and modesty” and “responsible stewardship,” they said.

The heart of a “just economic order” the statement said, “is the affirmation of the sovereignty and providence of the Creator of the world,” who is the origin of all wealth, given to mankind “for the common good.”


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