donderdag, januari 21, 2016
He has a dream
A senior cardinal chosen by Pope Francis to manage the Vatican’s finances has launched into a spirited defence of free markets, countering the perception that the Catholic church under the Argentine pontiff has turned against capitalism and business.
George Pell, the head of the Holy See’s secretariat for the economy, told a conference hosted by The Global Foundation in Rome on Sunday that “no better model is available at the moment” than market economies, citing their capacity to “rejuvenate” after the Great Depression and recent global financial crisis, and their failure to produce the “massive alienation” predicted by Karl Marx.
‘We make nothing but money’,” he said.
The Vatican has accused Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest of exploiting the Pope as it distances itself from his anti-slavery campaign, which it pledged to support last year.
In a scathing statement quoted in Italian newspaper La Stampa, one of Pope Francis's principal aides, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, told reporters the Vatican had walked away from Mr Forrest's campaign to end slavery because it felt the Pope had been exploited.
"We do not want to be used," Bishop Sanchez said.
"A businessman has the right to make money but not by using the Pope."
Last December Pope Francis joined leaders of the world's religious faiths in the Vatican to sign a declaration aimed at ending modern slavery.
The event was organised by Mr Forrest's Global Freedom Network (GFN), one of a number of entities controlled by Mr Forrest aimed at ending human trafficking and slavery.
Mr Forrest ranks the meeting amongst his greatest and most difficult achievement and told Four Corners last month it was without precedent.
"There has never been a meeting between a Grand Ayatollah and a Pope," he said.
"There's never been a public agreement between Sunni and Shia, even between Christianity and Islam or even between the Anglicans and the Catholics, since prior to the Reformation.
"These guys are get pretty long term in their bad relations."
But in April this year eyebrows were raised when the Pope's representative, Bishop Sanchez, who signed the multi-faith declaration last year, disappeared from the organisation's website.
According to the GFN website, the joint declaration by the signatories, one of which is Mr Forrest, "underscores the searing personal destructiveness of modern slavery and human trafficking, and calls for urgent action by all other Christian Churches and Global Faiths".
Bishop Sanchez's most recent comments are the first public remarks on the split.
A spokesman from Mr Forrest's charity, the Walk Free Foundation, defended the initiative.
"At absolutely no point in time was this a business initiative. Walk Free Foundation provided all the funding to the Global Freedom Network when the two historic initiatives of the 2 December proclamation and of the Islamic Fatwa condemning Slavery, was achieved," he said.
"This was over 1 million euros in direct funding in addition to substantial other costs. Walk Free Foundation continues to proudly support the Global Freedom Network."
It comes after experts in human trafficking criticised Mr Forrest's anti-slavery initiatives, which they claim are misguided.
Human trafficking expert Dr Anne Gallagher, who has consulted to the United Nations, told Four Corners last month she believes Mr Forrest's initiatives only offer simplistic solutions to deep-seated problems.
"The trouble with the approach of Walk Free and of the Global Slavery Index is that it assumes this problem can be fixed by pushing governments, by getting a lot of young people to sign up to petitions that go to corporations," Dr Gallagher said.
Mr Forrest defended the charity, which he said was forcing governments across the world to confront human trafficking in their countries.
"We really applaud critics, but we will clap slightly louder when they come up with solutions," he said.
"When they can come up with more than criticism we'll really applaud because then they will be helping us.
"But if they just say, 'Oh, this is no good but we've got no better idea how to do it', then we'll say 'Okay, we'll cop the criticism, we'll take it into account, we'll improve our assessment methodology, but it's still the best [solution] in the world and it's getting better every year'."