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The fastest way to recover from the current economic crisis and the only way to ensure that a similar financial meltdown does not occur again is for governments to take seriously their role as regulators, the Vatican secretary of state told members of the Italian Senate. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, outlined the contents of Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical "Caritas in Veritate" ("Charity in Truth") at a special meeting of the Senate July 28. He said the encyclical was not calling for government control of the economy or the market, but for an awareness of the fact that democratic governments have an obligation to protect and promote the common good of their citizens, including their economic well-being. In addition to asking governments to take their regulatory responsibilities seriously, the cardinal asked governments "to allow, or rather to favor, the birth and growth of a pluralistic financial market, a market in which subjects that have different goals for their activities can operate in conditions of parity." In particular, he said, governments must look at how their regulations may have hindered the activities of credit unions, micro-credit lenders, cooperative banks and ethical investment funds.

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