Two Vatican offices to release document on morality of global market system

Rome — Two influential Vatican offices are set to release a new joint document evaluating the morality of the global market system, in what appears to be an effort to give more theological weight to Pope Francis' frequent criticism that "this economy kills."

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development have co-authored "Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones: Considerations for ethical discernment about some aspects of the current financial-economic system," the Vatican press office announced May 14.

The new document, the first such joint effort of two Vatican offices during Francis' five-year papacy, will be released May 17. It will be presented at a press conference by the heads of the two dicasteries: Archbishop Luis Ladaria and Cardinal Peter Turkson, respectively, alongside two noted Italian economists.

The pope has often criticized the global capitalist system, saying it has perpetuated a "throwaway culture" that serves to enrich the wealthy at the expense of the world's poorest.

In one of the pontiff's most stinging criticisms, he told residents of a Kenyan slum during a visit in 2015 that they were suffering from "wounds inflicted by minorities who cling to power and wealth, who selfishly squander while a growing majority is forced to flee to abandoned, filthy and run-down peripheries."

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Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones will be the second document signed by the doctrinal congregation in three months, signifying a ramp-up in the office's activity since Ladaria's replacement of Cardinal Gerhard Muller as its prefect last summer.

During the first four years of Francis' papacy the congregation only released two documents.

The pope created the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in 2017 to combine the work of four pontifical councils. Its leadership, which previously led the former Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, spearheaded the drafting of Francis' second encyclical letter, Laudato Si', which focused on environmental issues.

[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. His email address is jmcelwee@ncronline.org. Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]


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