Saturday, October 29, 2011

Quote of the Day

It's a hopeful sign that [the Vatican's recent] Council for Justice and Peace [statement] "Reform of the International Financial System with a View Toward a General Public Authority" is getting a good amount of press. The Vatican has again added its voice to those calling (some from the streets) for a return of ethics and political oversight to the titanic power of financial institutions that have grown beyond political control after decades of deregulation and technological innovation. And yes, the Vatican does stand with the "basic sentiment" of the protesters on Wall Street and around the world.

. . . The central point of this document – the need for a global governmental structure – is nothing new. It has been taught by every pope since John XXIII. . . . The document raises fundamental moral questions – well within the proper purview of magisterial teaching. It challenges the reduction of human existence to a narrow economic logic as our current global economic order has done. It warns that such an approach banishes the moral and spiritual, ignoring "anything that cannot be explained in terms of matter alone."

The document advances Benedict's call for reform of international governmental and financial organizations "so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth." While the Vatican doesn't do revolution, the demands are revolutionary . . . and as old as the Hebrew prophets. Any just order must attend to the needs of the poor. Any just system of global governance must give the weakest a meaningful seat at the table. It does espouse a revolutionary courage that weds a call for creative thinking with Mary's Magnificat: "We should not be afraid to propose new ideas, even if they may destabilize pre-existing balances of power that prevail over the weakest." . . .

– Vincent Miller
"Is the Idea of a Global Government Agency Radical?"
National Catholic Reporter
October 28, 2011

Recommended Off-site Links:
New Vatican Document: Good News for Poor, Bad News for Tea Party
– Daniel C. Maguire (Religion Dispatches, October 25, 2011).
Church Teaching, Occupy Wall Street Agree, Vatican Officials Say
– Cindy Wooden (National Catholic Reporter, October 24, 2011).
Occupy Protests: A Movement Taking Root
– Katharine Ainger (The Guardian, October 28, 2011).
Occupy Wall Street and America's Democratic Tradition
– Amy Dean (Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, October 27, 2011).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – October 22, 2011
Quote of the Day – October 13, 2011
Rocking the Cradle of Power
Quote of the Day – October 1, 2011

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