Pope Benedict XVI has called for governments to endorse a new ethics-based economic model that looks out for the common good rather than pursue the profit-at-all-cost mentality that he blames for the global economic crisis.
Benedict outlined his vision in his annual peace message.
It is an idea he has voiced before, in particular in his 2009 encyclical Charity In Truth, in which he called for a new world financial order that would give poorer countries more say in international policy.
This year’s theme is “Blessed are the peacemakers”, and Benedict used it to underline how policymakers should be guided by pursuing peace in forging economic, development and social policy.
He said, for example, they should oppose abortion because it is a threat to peace.
Meanwhile, the Christmas season kicked off at the Vatican with the traditional lighting of the tree in St Peter’s Square.
Benedict, who occasionally refers to his childhood as a devout Catholic in Nazi Germany, said the lights on the Christmas tree represent “divine light”.
Issuing a reminder about what happened when the “lights” of God were turned off in atheistic regimes, he said: “And when in the past they tried to stamp out the light of God to instead turn on illusory and misleading glows, there were seasons of tragic violence against man.”