National Catholic Reporter Publishes Eric LeCompte's Analysis on Vatican Economy Release

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA wrote an Op-ed featured in National Catholic Reporter called "Vatican's considerations on economic system call us to shape a new one" which talks about the Vatican's recent assessment of the economy in Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones

Read excerpt below and follow link to the full article.


Vatican's considerations on economic system call us to shape a new one

By: Eric LeCompte

The Vatican's recent assessment of the economy reveals a Catholic Church that is alive, engaging and relevant.

It reflects a Catholic Church that sees the suffering tied to our financial system as the church delivers aid to hurricane victims, refugees and homeless people. The document is tied to a church working with other faiths, in Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean calling for transparency, relief and an end to poverty. It illuminates the church that in 1999 helped gather 27 million petitions for the G-8 Cologne Summit, the forum of the world's leading industrial nations, urging the cancellation of debt burdens in Africa and across the developing world.

Not only do we see the continued application of Catholic teaching to understand our economy, the release is a culmination of decades of Holy See efforts to diminish poverty through the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and decision making fora around the world.

"Considerations for an Ethical Discernment Regarding Some Aspects of the Present Economic-Financial System" (Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones) shows a church spreading the Gospel outside of our church buildings and into the market place. The 15-page release from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development show a church being relevant to current economic policy debates.

The Vatican's document lifts the reality that God has given us a rich and abundant world so each of us can reach our full potential and that we are closest to the Creator when we share these resources among us.

The global economy should support each individual to achieve their full potential, and each individual must rise to actively shape the economy to this purpose. The Vatican economy document asserts our responsibility to understand that "what is morally unacceptable is not simply to profit, but rather to avail oneself of an inequality for one's own advantage, in order to create enormous profits that are damaging to others."

In closing, the document offers each of us the invitation: "In front of the massiveness and pervasiveness of today's economic-financial systems, we could be tempted to abandon ourselves to cynicism, and to think that with our poor forces we can do very little. In reality, every one of us can do so much, especially if one does not remain alone."