Madrid: Pope Benedict XVI denounced the
profit-at-all-cost mentality that he says is behind Europe`s
current economic crisis as he arrived in hard-hit Spain on Thursday,
and said morals and ethics must play a greater role in
formulating economic policy in the future.
Benedict made the comments as he traveled to Madrid for
the Catholic Church`s World Youth Day, a weeklong Catholic
festival that is taking place against a backdrop of the
European debt crisis and social unrest among the young that
exploded recently in the riots in Britain.
Benedict said the crisis and sense of desperation among
young people proved that ethics have been increasingly left
out of formulating economic policy at local and international
He said: "Man must be at the center of the economy, and
the economy cannot be measured only by maximization of profit
but rather according to the common good."
"The economy doesn`t function with market self-regulation
but needs an ethical reason to work for mankind," he told
reporters travelling aboard the papal plane.
He said the current crisis shows that a moral dimension
isn`t "exterior" to economic problems but "interior and
Benedict explored the theme more fully in his 2009
encyclical "Charity in Truth," in which he called for a new
world financial order guided by ethics, dignity and the search
for the common good.
Benedict arrived in a cloudy Madrid to a boisterous
welcome from young people with their faces painted the colours
of the Spanish flag chanting: "These are the pope`s young
people!" A cordon of youngsters decked out in faux Swiss Guard
uniforms greeted Benedict on the tarmac at Madrid`s Barajas
airport, along with Spain`s King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.
Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and
conservative opposition leader Marian Rajoy, the man forecast
to take power in November elections, also were present.