Benedict’s six point plan for economic crisis

by | Aug 1, 2012 | Poverty: Analysis and Responses

Benedict XVI offers six ideas aimed at fixing the financial system and rebuilding a new one that would be more humane and fair to all people. (

The first is the ‘Principles of Gratuitousness’. It means that relationships between people should not be viewed in terms of benefits, and it’s good there is capacity to help others.

Benedict XVI  General Audience from July 8, 2009
“If it is to function properly, the economy needs ethics; it needs to recover the important contribution of the principle of gratuitousness and the ‘logic of gift’ in the market economy, where the rule cannot be profit alone.”

The second is the ‘Logic of the Gift’. Benedict XVI calls for generosity, asking to look beyond personal benefits because this only leads to weaken society. 

Benedict XVI  General Audience from July 8, 2009
“However this is only possible with the commitment of all economists, and politicians, producers and consumers and it presupposes a formation of consciences that gives strength to moral criteria in the elaboration of political and economic projects.” 

Next is the idea of ‘Subsidiarity’, which says that matters should be handled by the smallest competent authority. It’s a matter of not intruding in the private sector but also remembering that governments are responsible for social issues. It also says that each individual must do their part.

Benedict XVI  General Audience from July 8, 2009
“As must always be reiterated, a different lifestyle for the whole of humanity is necessary in which the duties of everyone towards the environment are linked to those towards the individual, considered in himself and in relation to others.”

Then there is the ‘Principle of Solidarity’. People should look to each other for help in order to overcome indifference, envy, greed, and hatred.

Benedict XVI  General Audience from July 8, 2009
“Humanity is one family and fruitful dialogue between faith and reason cannot but enrich it, making charitable work in social life more effective and providing the appropriate framework in which to encourage collaboration between believers and non-believers, in the shared prospective of working for justice and peace in the world.”

Next is a ‘Global Political Authority’ which is aimed at avoiding chaos and anarchy. It says that society needs to respect the law which should be clear as well as respect people of all faiths.

Benedict XVI  General Audience from July 8, 2009
“Lastly, in the face of the problems of today’s world that are so immense and profound, I point out the need for a world political authority, regulated by law, which would abide by the above-mentioned principles of subsidiarity and solidarity and would be firmly oriented to the realization of the common good with respect for humanity’s great moral and religious traditions.”

There is also the idea of ‘The Center of the Person’. Here, the pope isn’t looking to save the system but rather the people involved. 

Benedict XVI  General Audience from July 8, 2009
“The Encyclical does not of course aim to offer technical solutions to the vast social problems of the contemporary world. This lies outside the competence of the Magisterium of the Church. Yet, it recalls the great principles that prove indispensable to building human development in the years to come. Among them, in the first place, is attention to human life, considered to be the core of all true progress .”

These six ideas are aimed at fixing the financial system and rebuilding a new one that would be more humane and fair to all people.


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