Pope Benedict XVI told European banking and development officials Saturday to keep families' needs paramount as they devise solutions to the continent's financial crises.
Economy and finance "are no more than tools, means" to safeguard human "capital, the only capital worth saving," Benedict said.
Benedict told representatives of the European Council's Development Bank during a Vatican audience that their task was to make the "human person, and even more particularly, families and those in great need, the center and the aim" of economic policies.
He urged experts to draw on what he called Europe's tradition of "generous fraternity" in coming up with rescue plans.
Benedict named no country, but efforts to help bail out Greece from its financial disaster exposed tensions in Europe over how much countries should help a fellow European Union nation.
Many European nations are grappling with dwindling revenues and budget shortfalls amid the euro's plunge against the dollar and other currencies, a stubborn recession and chronic unemployment. Generous social welfare plans like early pensions and heavily subsidized health care are at risk as their costs are being scrutinized.
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