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Pope Talks Economy

Pope Benedict XVI signs his letter. L'Osservatore Romano/Getty hide caption

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L'Osservatore Romano/Getty

Pope Benedict XVI criticized the current economic system and called for a new financial order in a letter to Catholic bishops published today. The letter, called an encyclical, is titled "Caritas in Veritate" or "Charity in Truth." The New York Times reports:

He criticized the current economic system, "where the pernicious effects of sin are evident," and urged financiers in particular to "rediscover the genuinely ethical foundation of their activity."

He also called for "greater social responsibility" on the part of business. "Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty," Benedict wrote.

The letter has been two years in the making, and its release comes a day before the Group of Eight meeting, which begins in Italy tomorrow.