Reuters news service recently generated a firestorm when it reported that “the Vatican” has endorsed the creation of a global centralized bank. According to Reuters and subsequent reports, such a bank would regulate and govern international financial institutions and mete out economic and “social justice” on a global scale; a supranational body would be empowered with unprecedented powers to intervene and centrally manage commerce. The source reportedly responsible for this idea is the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
Now, if indeed this has been recommended, I’m more than willing to come out proudly and boldly to declare it a very, very, very bad idea. To be blunt, this idea, at least as reported, would be nothing short of sheer economic sophistry and disaster. It would be foolish and dangerous. It would be precisely the kind of excessive, unnecessary, counter-productive, over-centralization that the Roman Catholic Church has fought against relentlessly for centuries. Such centralization is precarious enough on a national scale—and even questionable with national banks—but on a global scale it is scandalous.
Likewise troublesome is figuring out precisely what has been proposed, by who or what, and with what authority. The secular media clearly has no idea, Protestants are in the dark, and it isn’t clear among us Catholics.
I spent two days trying to answers emails from bewildered and angry Protestant friends wanting to know exactly what my Church was recommending. The best I could do, at least initially, was inform them that the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace does not speak infallibly for the Holy Father; its statement does not rise to the level of dogma or doctrine or the status of an encyclical. My Protestant friends found that reassuring, but, even then, they don’t fully understand what the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is advocating, and, more so, to what extent any suggestion of a global centralized bank represents the Vatican as a whole, the Holy Father, and Roman Catholic teaching generally.
Come to think of it, I’m curious about that myself. This is confusing, and it doesn’t look good.
For Catholic Exchange.com and Ave Maria Radio, I’m Paul Kengor.