Vatican-Jewish Dialogue

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A Vatican-Jewish dialogue commission said moderation, honesty and a fair distribution of world resources are the ingredients for a more just economic order.

National and international leaders and policymakers should also turn to ethics consultants as part of their decision-making process, representatives of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews said in a joint statement.

The statement, released by the Vatican March 30, came at the end of a three-day meeting of the dialogue commission in Rome. It was the 11th meeting in a dialogue that began in 2002.

The promotion of economic justice includes “the universal destination of the goods of the earth; a culture of ‘enough’ that implies a degree of self-limitation and modesty; responsible stewardship; an ethical system of allocation of resources and priorities; and the critical importance of honesty, transparency, gratuitousness and accountability,” it said.

The recent global economic crisis reflected “a crisis of moral values in which the importance of having, reflected in a culture of greed, eclipsed the importance of being,” it said.

The well-being of individuals and societies comes about when people recognize their obligations and responsibilities toward others and engage in real solidarity, it said.

“This posits the obligation to guarantee certain basic human needs, such as the protection of life, sustenance, clothing, housing, health, education and employment,” it said.

The statement said since the crisis was proof of a serious lack of ethical consideration, it was “imperative that institutes and academies of economic studies and policy formation include ethical training in their curricula, similar to that which has developed in recent years in the field of medical ethics.”

It added that “ethical counseling to decision makers on a national and international level” was vital.

The joint commission also heard talks given by Meir Tamari, the former chief economist of the Bank of Israel, and Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, president of the Vatican bank.

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