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Vatican denounces offshore tax havens as threats to the poor

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The Vatican is denouncing offshore tax havens and financial instruments such as derivatives as gravely immoral and unjust, calling them “ticking time bombs” that will hurt the world’s poor the most.

In a new document released Thursday, the Vatican’s doctrine office teamed up with its social justice department to give a more solid moral foundation to the Holy See’s oft-repeated call for a more ethical global financial system.

The document, approved by Pope Francis, calls for banks to create internal ethical committees to ensure decisions work for the common good and not just individual corporate bottom lines.

Notably missing was an articulated call for a global political authority to regulate markets and tax financial transactions, which the Vatican’s social justice office had recommended in a controversial 2011 document.

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