(JTA) — A “crisis of moral values” is at the root of the global financial crisis, according to Vatican and Israeli rabbinical representatives who met in Rome.
In a joint statement, the 11th meeting of the Bilateral Commission of the Delegations of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with Jews said that countries with developed economies should "recognize their responsibilities and duties towards countries and societies in need, especially in this era of globalization."
The theme of the meeting, held March 27-29, was "Religious perspectives on the current financial crisis: vision for a just economic order."
The joint statement said that "while many factors contributed to the financial crisis, at its roots lies a crisis of moral values in which the importance of having, reflected in a culture of greed, eclipsed the importance of being; and where the value of truth reflected in honesty and transparency was sorely lacking in economic activity."
It also said that "the purpose of an economic order is to serve the well being of society, affirming the human dignity of all people, each created in the divine image." This concept, it added, "requires the promotion of the well being of the individual in relation to community and society."
The statement also "posits the obligation to guarantee certain basic human needs, such as the protection of life, sustenance, clothing, housing, health, education and employment."