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Pastoral care in times of economic crisis

September 26, 2012
The current global economic situation is the result of a system in crisis, according to one Canadian economist.
Speaking to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops as part of a session about pastoral understanding of the economic crisis, economist Pierre Piche said the current economic crisis is actually a crisis of the values underlying the current economic system. He said two things needed to be done to pull out of the crisis and prevent a similar situation from happening again.
According to Piche, better safeguards are needed around financial institutions and a sense of ethics and values needs to be restored among those who participate in the economic system.
Commenting on the presentation afterward, Archbishop Paul Andre Durocher said he found it amazing that Piche referred to several documents from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
Focusing on pastoral themes, Jesuit Father Bill Ryan spoke to the Bishops about concrete actions the bishops could take to respond to the realities of the economic situation.
Fr. Ryan told the bishops their role is to remind people, faithful and otherwise, that they are all responsible for the whole world, not just for their own interests. One way to foster a greater sense of responsibility, he said, is forming groups at the parish level to focus on social justice in the community.
The vocation of business leader must also be promoted by bishops, he said, referring to the document “Vocation of a Business leader”, written by Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
Speaking after the presentation, Archbishop Durocher said he was struck by the idea of business leadership as a vocation. “I will read that document, first, and then look into what I can do to share that with the business community in my diocese,” he said.
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In photo, left to right: Pierre Piche, Fr. Bill Ryan SJ, Bishop Francois Lapierre of  St. Hyacinthe
Photo courtesy of Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
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