By Catholic News Service
UNITED NATIONS (CNS) -- As the world waits to see the extent of the global economic damage provoked by the U.S. mortgage crisis, national and international policies must protect low-income families and the working poor, said the Vatican's observer at the United Nations.
Archbishop Celestino Migliore spoke Feb. 7 at a meeting of the Economic and Social Council of the U.N. Commission for Social Development.
The archbishop said the cycle of economic growth and job creation followed by recession and job losses seems to be accelerating, straining individuals, governments and international economic partners that are not used to changing course quickly.
"At this very moment, with bated breath the world wonders where the ongoing financial woes provoked by the crisis in the real estate sector in some of the most developed economies would lead us," he said.
In the current crisis, the archbishop said, the international community must find ways "to protect low-income families and workers from financial collapse."
"Assisting them is a question of justice and solidarity, but it is also a financially sound measure to stimulate national economies and international trade," he said.
Archbishop Migliore said it is the task of the U.N. commission to work to ensure that the world's biggest economic powers do not enact policies that help their economies recover while ignoring or damaging the economies of the world's poorest nations.
"The Holy See wishes to recall that the compelling needs of the poor have a priority claim on our conscience and on the choices financial leaders make," he said.
"Economic policies that help low-income working people live dignified, decent lives should be a priority of any good society worthy of the name," the archbishop said.