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Despite what conservative Catholics would like to believe, the Vatican is often quite progressive when it comes to finance regulations and income inequality. E.J. Dionne writes in his new column, “The Vatican Meets The Occupiers”:

Will we soon see a distinguished-looking older man in long white robes walking among the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in New York’s Zuccotti Park? Is Pope Benedict XVI joining the protest movement?

Well, yes, and no. Yes, the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace issued a strong and thoughtful critique of the global financial system this week that paralleled many of the criticisms of unchecked capitalism that are echoing through lower Manhattan and cities around the world.

The report spoke of “the primacy of being over having,” of “ethics over the economy,” and of “embracing the logic of the global common good.”

In a knock against those who oppose government economic regulation, the council emphasized “the primacy of politics — which is responsible for the common good — over the economy and finance.” It commented favorably on a financial transactions tax and supported an international authority to oversee the global economy.

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