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Vatican cardinal calls for tax on financial transactions

January 27, 2012

As EU leaders prepare to meet for the first time this year, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has called for the adoption of a financial transaction tax (FTT) to support global development and create a reserve fund to support nations hard hit by the financial crisis. The European Commission (the EU’s governing body) and France support the adoption of an FTT, while the United Kingdom opposes it.

“One way of bringing economics and finance back within the boundaries of their real vocation, including their social function, would be through taxation measures on financial transactions,” said Cardinal Peter Turkson. “These should be applied with fair rates, modulated in proportion to the complexity of operations, especially those made on the ‘secondary’ market.”

“Such an FTT would be very useful in promoting global development and sustainability according to the principles of social justice and solidarity,” he added. “It could also contribute to the creation of a world reserve fund to support the economies of the countries hit by crisis, as well as the recovery of their monetary and financial systems.”


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  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Jan. 28, 2012 10:23 PM ET USA

    Is this Obama masquerading as a cleric? Come clean, Mr. President! That is you, isn't it? Teaching principles that guide action is one thing. But pushing policy and even proposals for tax plans is quite another! Isn't Europe well into an alleged "post-Christian Era?" Doesn't he have enough on his plate to teach the basic Gospel? Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Salvific death on a cross. I guess having solved that problem and turning all of Europe back to God, he can now tackle tax policies!

  • Posted by: - Jan. 28, 2012 7:02 PM ET USA

    Isn't it enough that we are awakened every morning with malignant pronouncements coming from Obama? Must we be tried by our church as well?

  • Posted by: - Jan. 28, 2012 2:44 PM ET USA

    I find it quite bothersome to see how frequently various clergy use the ideal of "community" to mean "levy a tax".

  • Posted by: ColmCille - Jan. 27, 2012 9:37 PM ET USA

    It seems our prelates are confused about their proper role. Why are they getting involved in the nitty gritty of politics and economics, which is NOT their competency (obviously), when they should rather be teaching the Faith, promoting the Gospel, and governing the Church, which IS their competency? Their role in all this is to provide the solid Catholic principles on which policies ought to be based, not to make the policies.

  • Posted by: Antigone - Jan. 27, 2012 9:15 PM ET USA

    Ah, yes, because what we need is a global bailout fund. Why not stop the bailouts altogether and make bankers and shareholders suffer the consequences of their actions instead?

  • Posted by: filioque - Jan. 27, 2012 9:13 PM ET USA

    This man is becoming a public menace. Remember the global financial authority he was rooting for a couple of months ago? Don't we still have monasteries where troublesome clerics can be retired?

  • Posted by: adamah - Jan. 27, 2012 2:23 PM ET USA

    Another option would be to tax every idiotic recommendation coming from this council. That would completely eradicate world poverty.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Jan. 27, 2012 8:06 AM ET USA

    Your Eminence, I have no doubt that such a tax would be collected and distributed with the utmost fairness. After all, those who would be in charge of such operations are known for their unfailingly strict adherence to the principles of social justice and solidarity! On second thought, I'd rather keep as much of my earnings as possible and decide for myself how to apply the principles of social justice and solidarity.