BY CINDY WOODEN IN ROME
THE GLOBAL economic crisis has demonstrated that the free market is not capable of regulating itself in a way that promotes the common good, Pope Benedict XVI has said.
The assumption that the economy can go along happily without government intervention and moral standards “is based on an impoverished notion of economic life as a sort of self-calibrating mechanism”, the Pope told members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
The Pope addressed academy members at the beginning of their four-day plenary session, which was devoted to the theme “Crisis in a Global Economy: Re-planning the Journey”.
The Academy said that the economists, lawyers, theologians and other social scientists at the meeting, led by Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard professor and former US ambassador to the Vatican, would look at how the economic crisis came about, its impact on individuals and nations, the relationship between ethics and economics, and ideas for promoting economic recovery and preventing a similar financial meltdown in the future.
“The worldwide financial breakdown has, as we know, demonstrated the fragility of the present economic system and the institutions linked to it,” the Pope said.