“There can be no area of human action that legitimately claims to be either outside of or impermeable to ethical principles based on liberty, truth, justice and solidarity”. This is the underlying principle of the new document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, “Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones”, released today. “The recent financial crisis – the document reads – might have provided the occasion to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and a new regulation of financial activities that would neutralise predatory and speculative tendencies and acknowledge the value of the actual economy”. However, despite the “many positive efforts at various levels”, “there does not seem to be any inclination to rethink the obsolete criteria that continue to govern the world”. On the contrary, according to the Holy See, “the response seems at times like a return to the heights of myopic egoism, limited by an inadequate framework that, excluding the common good, also excludes from its horizons the concern to create and spread wealth, and to eliminate the inequality so pronounced today”. “At stake is the authentic well-being of a majority of the men and women of our planet who are at risk of being excluded and marginalized”. Hence there is a need to recognize the “exigencies of the true and the good without which no social, political and economic system could avoid bankruptcy, failure, and, in the long term, collapse”. “Selfishness, in the end, does not pay while it makes everyone pay a high price”, the two Vatican Dicasteries stated. It is thus the responsibility of “competent and responsible agents” to “develop new forms of economy and of finance, with rules and regulations directed towards the enlargement of the common good and respect for human dignity along the lines indicated by the social teachings of the Church”.