Speaking in French, the Pope noted that the present global economic crisis has brought “more and more families to an increasingly precarious situation.” Previously the “creation and multiplication of needs” had led many people to believe “in the possibility of unlimited enjoyment and consumption.”
Now, however, those hopes have been dashed and “feelings of frustration” have emerged with “loneliness due to exclusion” on the increase.
At the heart of all future economic policy, he said, has to be the good of the human person as “man is more precious for what he is than for what he has,” said the Pope quoting from the Second Vatican Council’s “Gaudium et spes” document.
Achieving this goal requires helping people in need to become “actors in their own society” and “enabling them to take charge of their own future.”
“Development for which every nation aspires each should concern the integral person, not economic growth alone,” said the Pope.
Drawing upon Catholic social teaching’s belief in subsidiarity, Pope Benedict highlighted economic experiments “such as microcredit, and initiatives to create equitable partnerships” which show that it is possible “to harmonize economic goals with social needs, democratic governance and respect for nature.”