International News

Trust Underlies World Economy, says Jesuit Priest

VILLANOVA, Pa. (CNS) — Economic activity depends on a foundation of trust that can’t be compromised without creating harmful consequences for all parties, said Jesuit Father Drew Christiansen, distinguished professor of ethics and global development at Georgetown University.

Reflecting on the global financial crisis of 2006-2010 and the Church’s efforts to “promote the common good of society,” the Jesuit advocated for an “economy of grace” identified by retired Pope Benedict XVI in his 2009 encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate” (“Charity in Truth”).

“The credit we extend to others is a kind of grace,” said Father Christiansen in a lecture at Villanova University in Pennsylvania Nov. 18, “and even the strictest commercial undertaking cannot be had without a reservoir of trust between the contracting parties.”

As an example, he said that while tips are referred to as gratuities, they’re “essential to the livelihood of certain service workers,” especially staff in restaurants and taxi drivers.

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