Pope calls for ethical world economy that gives voice to poor

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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. The Pontiff 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 Pope 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 began at the Vatican with the lighting of the tree in St Peter’s Square. The Pope, who occasionally refers to his childhood in Nazi Germany, said the lights represented “divine light”, and warned against what happened when the “lights” of God were turned off in atheistic regimes.