Friday, 17 September 2010

Was Toynbee listening?

The Guardian columnist and humanist supremo writes critically about the Pope's Westminster Hall address, noting:

Were Pope Benedict and all the other religions to devote themselves single-mindedly to social injustice, they would command immense moral authority that would silence any quibbles from non-believers.
How odd, because one of the most remarkable elements in the Westminster Hall address was the Pope's defence of the world's poor. As John Allen comments:
Benedict laid out a laundry list of issues where church and state can work together: curbing the arms trade, spreading democracy, debt relief, fair trade and development, environmental protection, clean water, job creation, education, support to families, immigration, and healthcare.

Defense of the world's poor was a special emphasis, and Benedict used sharp language to drive home the point. "The world has witnessed the vast resources that governments can draw upon to rescue financial institutions deemed 'too big to fail,'" the pope said. "Surely the integral human development of the world's peoples is no less important."

"Here is an enterprise," he said, "worthy of the world's attention, that is truly 'too big to fail.'"