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The best book of 2009

· ‘Caritas in Veritate’ ·

As usual during this Season, Il Sole 24 Ore [the most important Italian financial magazine] – in its influential Sunday supplement, which since one week ago is directed by Mr Giovanni Santambrogio – focused on the best book of the year. For this it consulted 34 intellectuals, economists and experts, all Italian except for the British historian Simon Schama. The final result includes over 27 titles in Italian but also seven books published in English, which mainly focus on economic issues.

The reactions received by the newspaper were obviously very diverse as well as interesting. Among these, Mario Deaglio's  stands out. He is one of the most authoritative Italian economists, a Professor of Economics at the University of Turin. He was Editor-in-Chief of Il Sole 24 Ore from 1980 to 1983 and is now Editor-in-Chief of La Stampa.

Deaglio feels that the best book of 2009 is Caritas in Veritate by Benedict XVI, because the Encyclical “offers a global view of the problems of the planet that no political leader has managed to provide”.

He continues: “The Pontiff, who has been called a reactionary by some, has written an innovative work that provides a very effective and original framework for the burning issues of today: the equitable distribution of revenue, the need to find ways to reduce the gap between the social classes, the role of the market, and the environmental issue. It is a broad and complete inventory of the world's problems that is both logical and rigorous. It does not propose easy solutions but is rather an indicator of the way along which such solutions should be sought”.

To Deaglio's choice, one may add that less than a month ago Forbes – the American financial and economic magazine known for its various lists (www.forbes.com/lists), including that of the world's wealthiest – circulated the list of  “The World's Most Powerful People”. After the main political and international leaders, it placed Benedict XVI eleventh.

On the website of the American magazine the Pope  is called the “highest earthly authority for one billion souls, or about one-sixth of the planet's population” while the Catholic Church is described in economic – yet quite evocative – terms as the “world's oldest, largest multinational”.

In the light of such a description one must comprehend the designation of the category of “power” – even if the word “influence” would be closer to reality – to a spiritual leader such as Benedict XVI, who is portrayed as a traditionalist and a conservative, his anti-conformism never being taken into account.

In any case one can be pleased with these completely secular acknowledgments of the presence and influence of a kind and gentle man who in his Christian preaching never fails to make an appeal to reason, which is common to all people.




Piazza S. Pietro

14 ottobre 2019