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VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI called Tuesday for a new world financial order guided by ethics and the search for the common good, denouncing the profit-at-all-cost mentality blamed for bringing about the global financial meltdown.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI called Tuesday for a new world financial order guided by ethics and the search for the common good, denouncing the profit-at-all-cost mentality blamed for bringing about the global financial meltdown.

In the third encyclical of his pontificate, Benedict pressed for reform of the United Nations and international economic and financial institutions to give poorer countries more of a say in international policy.

"There is urgent need (for) a true world political authority" that can manage the global economy, guarantee the environment is protected, ensure world peace and bring about food security for the poor, he wrote.

The document "Charity in Truth," was in the works for two years, and its publication was repeatedly delayed to incorporate the fallout from the crisis. It was released a day before leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations meet to coordinate efforts to deal with the global meltdown, signaling a clear Vatican bid to prod leaders for a financially responsible future and what it considers a more socially just society.

"The economy needs ethics in order to function correctly – not any ethics, but an ethics which is people centered," Benedict wrote.

The German-born Benedict, 82, has spoken out frequently about the impact of the crisis on the poor, particularly in Africa, which he visited earlier this year. But the 144-page encyclical, one of the most authoritative documents a pope can issue, marked a new level of church teaching by linking the Vatican’s long-standing social doctrine on caring for the poor with current events.

While acknowledging that the globalized economy has "lifted billions of people out of misery," Benedict blamed the unbridled growth of recent years for causing unprecedented problems as well, citing mass migration flows, environmental degradation and a complete loss of trust in the world market.

He urged wealthier countries to increase development aid to poor countries to help eliminate world hunger, saying peace and security depended on it. He specified that aid should go to agricultural development to improve infrastructure, irrigation systems, transport and sharing of agricultural technology.

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