Pope Had `Prophecy' of Market Collapse in 1985, Tremonti Says
By Flavia Krause-Jackson and Lorenzo Totaro
Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Pope Benedict XVI was the first to predict the crisis in the global financial system, a ``prophecy'' dating to a paper he wrote when he was a cardinal, Italian Finance Minister Guilio Tremonti said.
``The prediction that an undisciplined economy would collapse by its own rules can be found'' in an article written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became pope in April 2005, Tremonti said yesterday at Milan's Cattolica University.
German-born Ratzinger in 1985 presented a paper entitled ``Market Economy and Ethics'' at a Rome event dedicated to the Church and the economy. The future pope said a decline in ethics ``can actually cause the laws of the market to collapse.''
Pope Benedict in an Oct. 7 speech reflected on crashing markets and concluded that ``money vanishes, it is nothing'' and warned that ``the only solid reality is the word of God.''
The Vatican's official newspaper, l'Osservatore Romano, on the same day criticized the free-market model for having ``grown too much and badly in the past two decades.''