Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Catholics and the 'Neighborly Economy'

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Catholics and the 'Neighborly Economy'

Article excerpt

The "Great Recession," we are told, is over. We pray this is true.

Walter Brueggemann (see Page 1) forcefully reminds us, however, that there will be a reckoning; that a failure to learn the lessons of this economic crisis will have severe consequences for us, our children and their children.

Pope Benedict XVI makes a similar appeal. The current worldwide economic crisis "presents us with choices that cannot be postponed, concerning nothing less than the destiny of man," the Holy Father says in Caritas in Veritate. "The technical forces in play, the global interrelations, the damaging effects on the real economy of badly managed and largely speculative financial dealing, large-scale migration of peoples, often provoked by some particular circumstance and then given insufficient attention, the unregulated exploitation of the earth's resources: All this leads us today to reflect on the measures that would be necessary to provide a solution to problems that are not only new in comparison to those addressed by Pope Paul VI [in 1967], but also, and above all, of decisive impact upon the present and future good of humanity."

Brueggemann calls for a return "to a neighborly economy that is an alternative to a market economy of competitive devouring." The pope warns of a social and economic inequality that threatens democratic institutions and "the network of relationships of trust, dependability and respect for rules, all of which are indispensable for any form of civil coexistence. …

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