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The Vatican's Calls for Global Financial Reform

The Future of the Church in the Financial Order

Crepuscular rays in St. Peter's Basilica. (bawkbawk / flickr)

Last October, a bold proposal to reform the global financial system came from an unexpected source: the Catholic Church. As the eurozone teetered on the brink of economic chaos, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace -- a body of the Roman Curia that advises the pope on economic justice, peace, and human rights -- issued "Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority" (more simply called the "Note"). The Council's goal in publishing it was explicit: the Church wanted to attract the attention of world leaders as they assembled to discuss ongoing turmoil in financial markets at the G-20 Summit in Cannes and to add its voice to those arguing for capital controls (such as the "Tobin tax") to discourage international financial speculation. Then, early last month, during his keynote speech for the New

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