Pope Benedict XVI has urged the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to push for the establishment of an ethically-grounded financial system at the G20 summit which begins in London on Thurday.
The leader of the world's 1.2 bilion Catholics has also called on the world leaders of nations representing 85 per cent of the world's economy and 64 per cent of its population to agree measures that offer genuine security to families and workers.
Pope Benedict said in his letter to the Prime Minister: “The only true and solid foundation is faith in the human person. For this reason all the measures proposed to rein in this crisis must seek, ultimately, to offer security to families and stability to workers and, through appropriate regulations and controls, to restore ethics to the financial world.”
The pontiff warns against “the spectre of the cancellation or drastic reduction of external assistance programmes, especially for Africa and for less developed countries elsewhere".
He continues: “Positive faith in the human person, and above all faith in the poorest men and women – of Africa and other regions of the world affected by extreme poverty – is what is needed if we are truly to come through the crisis once and for all, without turning our back on any region and if we are definitively to prevent any recurrence of a situation similar to that in which we find ourselves today.”
In his reply, Mr Brown says: “This is a decisive moment for the world economy. We have a choice to make. We can either let the recession run its course, or we can resolve as a world community to unite, to stand with millions of people struggling in these tough times, to fight back against this global recession that is hurting so many people in every continent. I hope that the world’s leaders can come together to rise to this challenge.”