Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pope Benedict's Peace Message Calls for Wealth Redistribution

By Francis X. Rocca

Editor's Note: This article was first published December 16, 2011, by Religion News Service.

VATICAN CITY (RNS) – Noting a "rising sense of frustration" at the worldwide economic recession, Pope Benedict XVI said that a more just and peaceful world requires "adequate mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth."

The pope's words appeared in his message for the World Day of Peace, released on Friday (Dec. 16) at the Vatican.

The message laments that "some currents of modern culture, built upon rationalist and individualist economic principles, have cut off the concept of justice from its transcendent roots, detaching it from charity and solidarity."

Authentic education, Benedict writes, teaches the proper use of freedom with "respect for oneself and others, including those whose way of being and living differs greatly from one's own."

Peace-making requires education not only in the values of compassion and solidarity, but in the importance of wealth redistribution, the "promotion of growth, cooperation for development and conflict resolution," Benedict writes.

The pope also calls on political leaders to "ensure that no one is ever denied access to education."

The message was presented on Friday by officials of the Vatican's Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace. The same body published a controversial document in October blaming the world's economic and financial crisis on an "economic liberalism that spurns rules and controls," and calling for global regulation of the financial industry and the international money supply.

See also the previous PCV posts:
From Jesus' Socialism to Capitalistic Christianity
Occupy Advent and the Vatican: A Revolution of Hope

Recommended Off-site Links:
Church Teaching, Occupy Wall Street Agree, Vatican Officials Say – Cindy Wooden (National Catholic Reporter, October 24, 2011).
New Vatican Document: Good News for Poor, Bad News for Tea Party – Daniel C. Maguire (Religion Dispatches, October 25, 2011).


  1. Now if only Benedict could lead by example. After all, the wealth of the Vatican is obscene and makes a mockery of Papa's good and important message.

    1. Amen. Several years ago, word got to someone at the Vatican, perhaps the curator of the art collection, that my parish church in Chicago had a valuable paining. The parish church has it no more. The Vatican has it. It's probably rotting away in some storage area, unseen, unappreciated.
      Wouldn't if have been better to auction if off and use the funds where most needed?