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(Vatican City, May 4, 2021). In his prayer intention for May, the Holy Father asks that “finance be a form of service, and an instrument to serve people and to take care for our common home” and he prays that those responsible for the world of finance will protect those most in need.
The Pope Video, which presents the prayer intention that Francis is entrusting to the entire Catholic Church through the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, focuses this May on the world of finance. The Holy Father is concerned by the way that finance, when not regulated, often becomes a mechanism of speculation that excludes people instead of protecting them. This is why, at a moment when many economies are in crisis and so many people are unemployed, he is asking through this intention that we pray “that those in charge of finance will work with governments to regulate financial markets and protect citizens from its dangers.” This edition of The Pope Video was created in collaboration with The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
A little more than a year after the beginning of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, all kinds of global consequences are appearing on the horizon, including economic and financial impacts. The global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), to pick an indicator, suffered in 2020 its sharpest drop since the end of World War II: millions of people have ended up unemployed or furloughed, and governments have injected billions of dollars into their economies to avoid greater damage. Recuperation in 2021 is highly uncertain, and a worrisome inequality is being observed: as the Holy Father highlights in his recent letter to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, “many of our brothers and sisters in the human family, especially those at the margins of society, are effectively excluded from the financial world.” This is why, he adds, “It is time to acknowledge that markets – particularly the financial ones – do not govern themselves. Markets need to be underpinned by laws and regulations that ensure they work for the common good, guaranteeing that finance – rather than being merely speculative or self-financing- works for the societal goals so much needed during the present global healthcare emergency.”