* Document also calls for "Central World Bank"
* Condemns "idolatry of the market"
* Says reform should start under U.N. auspices
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY, Oct 24 - The Vatican called on
Monday for the establishment of a "global public authority" and
a "central world bank" to rule over financial institutions that
have become outdated and often ineffective in dealing fairly
A major document from the Vatican's Justice and Peace
department should be music to the ears of the "Occupy Wall
Street" demonstrators and similar movements around the world who
have protested against the economic downturn.
The 18-page document, "Towards Reforming the International
Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of a Global Public
Authority," was at times very specific, calling, for example,
for taxation measures on financial transactions.
"The economic and financial crisis which the world is going
through calls everyone, individuals and peoples, to examine in
depth the principles and the cultural and moral values at the
basis of social coexistence," it said.
It condemned what it called "the idolatry of the market" as
well as a "neo-liberal thinking" that it said looked exclusively
at technical solutions to economic problems.
"In fact, the crisis has revealed behaviours like
selfishness, collective greed and hoarding of goods on a great
scale," it said, adding that world economics needed an "ethic of
solidarity" among rich and poor nations.
"If no solutions are found to the various forms of
injustice, the negative effects that will follow on the social,
political and economic level will be destined to create a
climate of growing hostility and even violence, and ultimately
undermine the very foundations of democratic institutions, even
the ones considered most solid," it said.
It called for the establishment of "a supranational
authority" with worldwide scope and "universal jurisdiction" to
guide economic policies and decisions.
Such an authority should start with the United Nations as
its reference point but later become independent and be endowed
with the power to see to it that developed countries were not
allowed to wield "excessive power over the weaker countries".
In a section explaining why the Vatican felt the reform of
the global economy was necessary, the document said:
"In economic and financial matters, the most significant
difficulties come from the lack of an effective set of
structures that can guarantee, in addition to a system of
governance, a system of government for the economy and
It said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) no longer had
the power or ability to stabilise world finance by regulating
overall money supply and it was no longer able to watch "over
the amount of credit risk taken on by the system."
The world needed a "minimum shared body of rules to manage
the global financial market" and "some form of global monetary
"In fact, one can see an emerging requirement for a body
that will carry out the functions of a kind of 'central world
bank' that regulates the flow and system of monetary exchanges
similar to the national central banks," it said.
The document, which was being presented at a news conference
later on Monday, acknowledged that such change would take years
to put into place and was bound to encounter resistance.
"Of course, this transformation will be made at the cost of
a gradual, balanced transfer of a part of each nation's powers
to a world authority and to regional authorities, but this is
necessary at a time when the dynamism of human society and the
economy and the progress of technology are transcending borders,
which are in fact already very eroded in a globalised world."