The Malta Independent 20 February 2019, Wednesday

Church non-profit institution discussing voluntary solidarity fund, to help fight inequality

Kevin Schembri Orland Friday, 29 January 2016, 19:04 Last update: about 4 years ago

The Fondazione Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice (FCAPP), an organisation based at the Vatican, are discussing the concept of a voluntary solidarity fund, an idea which Mr Joe F.X Zahra (FCAPP Advisory Board Member) said Malta Central Bank Governor Josef Bonnici has been championing in his personal capacity.

The idea, which is still in the concept stage, would allow individuals who feel they could do something about inequality in the wake of the financial crisis to contribute to this, in order to enhance the capability of individuals to earn a better living and overcome the impact of the crisis.

Inequality is increasing, both within and amongst countries. In an environment where world growth is slower than it once was, concern has been raised as to how we could address this problem, Professor Josef Bonnici said.

The FCAPP is a non-profit institution founded by Pope John Paul II, aimed at the study and dissemination of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church among motivated business and professional leaders.

The International Consultation of the FCAPP are currently meeting in Malta. The meeting is a continuation of the on-going dialogue initiated by the Dublin Group on Financial Reform and the Common Good in October 2014. The Dublin Group, which is a focus group of FCAPP, is tasked to formulate recommendations in order to direct finance towards serving the common good, as defined by Catholic Social Teaching. The dialogue in Malta will further elaborate on the need of an ethical dimension to financial reform and on sustainable solutions to the growing inequality worldwide.

The FCAPP has the specific purpose of contributing to the diffusion of human, ethical, social and Christian values, described in the Encyclical Centesimus Annus, published by Pope Saint John Paul II in May 1991. 

Discussing the concept of the voluntary solidarity fund, Professor Bonnici said that today's consultation is a strong basis, as experts from around the world are present.

This fund is not intended to be a financial instrument, its intended to be funded by individuals who feel they can contribute to better the situation of others, and can be utilised to better the capacity of individuals who are perhaps falling behind the rest of society.  It's a practical way of taking care of our neighbours and contributing to the well-being of others".

During a press briefing, headed by the Central Bank Governor, Mr Joe F.X Zahra and Dr Domingo Sugranyes Bickel (Chairman of the FCAPP), it was said that whatever is proposed, it would have to be heavily monitored in terms of beneficiary selection. It would also have to entail entrepreneurship; Dr Bickel said "as this is the way we believe could help people escape inequality".


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