A new Vatican document calling for reform of the world’s economic and monetary system suggests the rising influence of the global South church in Catholic social thought, writes John Allen in the National Catholic Reporter (Nov. 11–24).
The document, entitled “Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority,” received wide notice for its critique of free market or neoliberal economic principles and its call for a world governing structure and a central world bank. Conservative critics dismissed the statement as coming from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, a department with little clout with the pope, and as a throwback to failed socialism.
But Allen writes that even without papal infuence, the document bears a striking resemblance to the social thinking that has come out of previous documents from global South church leaders. “It’s fitting that the Vatican official responsible for the document is an African, Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, because it articulates key elements of what almost might be called a ‘Southern consensus.’”
(National Catholic Reporter, http://www.ncronline.org)