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Time for fairness and economic justice

Friday, July 10, 2009

During the surge of media attention on today's historic meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and President Barack Obama, it is important to note that only days before His Holiness used his own moral authority to express concerns for the current financial crisis.

In his encyclical Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth), the Pope speaks to the developments that led to the current global economic crisis, naming badly-managed and short-sighted financial practices among its causes. He urges financiers to "rediscover the genuinely ethical foundation of their activity".

Pope Benedict's words are a summons to bring a long-lacking ethos to today's economic chaos and proposed remedies.

The Center for Responsible Lending has long-noted the absence of fairness and clarity in a wide range of consumer finance issues. Prior to the economic crisis, lenders reaped excessive fees making irresponsible loans to families who could never repay them. When deceptive business practices have been met with scant regulation, the world's people have suffered financially.

As leaders and citizens alike reflect on the significance of the papal meeting with President Obama, it is also time for people of conscience to embrace fairness, equality, and openness in the quest for economic justice. Many abusive financial practices continue to prevent families from achieving economic security today and now is the time to act to end unethical lending practices.

The full text of Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth) is available online:

For more information: Kathleen Day at (202) 349-1871 or; Ginna Green at (510) 379-5513 or; or Charlene Crowell at (919) 313-8531 or