Catholics Seen as Indispensable for Getting Italy Out of Crisis

Social Doctrine's People-Centered Focus Considered the Key

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By Luca Marcolivio

ROME, APRIL 20, 2012 (Zenit.org).- For some years the word "finance" has aroused in ordinary people apprehensions and anxieties about the future.

A round table on the topic, organized by the Christian Workers Movement (CWM), in collaboration with the Vicariate of Rome office for ministry in the field of labor and work, was held last Thursday afternoon bringing together representatives from the ecclesial, political, economic and academic worlds.

The reports were preceded by a moment of prayer, led by monsignor Francesco Rosso, ecclesiastical assistant of the CWM, who mentioned the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the CWM and its decision to be characterized as an "ecclesial movement," for the "building of a society based on Christian principles."

"Christ, with his Resurrection, has liberated us and this liberty enables us to call the strong powers to rethink the motivations of their action and to an ethic that cannot be characterized by egoisms and abuse of power," he said.

In his intervention the provincial president of the Roman CWM, Enzo De Santis, recalled the audience in the Nervi Hall in which, 30 years ago, Blessed John Paul II received the members of the CWM in their first decade, praising the movement for having "saved those values that were the origin of the social commitment of Christian workers in society at the end of the last century.

For the occasion De Santis announced a new audience, again in the Nervi Hall, with the present Pontiff, Benedict XVI, planned for May 19, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the CWM.

"It will be the highpoint of our celebrations and the men and women of the Provincial Union of Rome will be numerous, enthusiastic, determined and conscious of the historic role that, once again, Christian workers must play in the terrible economic, social and political crisis that our Italy is going through."

False divinity

The meeting with Benedict XVI is anything but circumstantial. As De Santis recalled, recently, in fact, the Holy Father warned against the risk of the abuse of power of finance that now "no longer represents an instrument to foster well-being, to foster the life of man, but has become a power that oppresses him, which must be almost adored: 'Mammon,' is the real false divinity that dominates the world."

The alternative to this degeneration is represented by a model of thought "based on the primacy of the person and on a genuine community logic," continued the CWM director.

According to the national president of the CWM, Carlo Costalli, without the contribution of Catholics, it will be difficult to "give life to a new social coalition which is indispensable to carry out the real reformist revolution that Italy needs.”

Questioned by ZENIT on the theory of a risk for democracy given the hegemony of the economic-financial sector, Costalli answered that the real problem is "the difficulty of politics to be in step with the times and to be the interpreter of the great transformations of the global markets."

Moreover, according to the president of the CWM, it is expedient to put an end to the "dualism, often propagandistic, between those who just want development and those who only want rigor in the budget policies."

In face of the failure of the Marxist and laissez-fare models, it is time to bring back in vogue the social market economy, as desired by the ecclesial magisterium, continued Costalli.

"It is no accident that the European country furthest from the crisis is, in fact, Germany that, precisely thanks to the practice of the social market economy, is re-launching the GDP, exports and employment," he added.