From the guide: Pope Benedict reflected on the economic crisis of 2008/09 and on what Catholic social teaching can say to the situation. Through this reflection, the Pope instructs that justice must be applied to every phase of economic activity because every economic decision has a moral consequence.

It is not economic or political instruments that must be called to account, but individuals, their moral conscience and their personal and social responsibility.

So we need a profoundly new way of understanding business enterprise. Business managers must assume responsibility for all stakeholders, not merely owners. Business enterprises are only ethical if they uphold the dignity of the human person and help achieve a more humane market and society.

And we must ensure that the whole economy is ethical. This includes all consumers since purchasing is always a moral – and not simply economic – act. So the consumer has a specific responsibility to purchase ethically, and must not be manipulated. We all have a part to play.

Questions: Do we always consider that 'ever economic decision has a moral consequence'? What part can we play in creating a more ethical economy?

Share your thoughts: Use the comment button to leave your thoughts about a just economy, your own decision-making and how you are minded to respond.

Photo: Harvesting the benefits. Angelina Ngoza, a farmer in Malawi, has switched to organic farming, increasing her yields and earning a better income from selling her vegetables in the local market. Marcus Perkins/Progressio

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