Bishop Giorgio Bertin, born in Italy, is now Bishop of Djibouti, Africa, and apostolic administrator for Mogadiscio in Somalia. He took part in a study session in Rougemont, in 2014. He has agreed to write the introduction to the Italian version of Alain Pilote’s “Economic Democracy viewed in the light of the social doctrine of the Church”:
|Bishop Bertin with our Directress Therese Tardif in Rougemont, in May, 2014
In May, 2014, I had the pleasure of taking part in a study session on Social Credit, also called Economic Democracy. This seminar was organized by the Pilgrims of Saint Michael, in Rougemont, Canada.
I listened attentively to the lessons that sparked many interesting discussions and exchanges amongst the participants. All of this took place in an atmosphere of prayer and brotherhood fostered by the community of the Pilgrims of Saint Michael.
The Pilgrims have asked me to proofread the Italian version of these lessons. I have also offered to write a version of these lessons in Somali which could later be aired on Vatican Radio.
I am convinced that the message conveyed by these lessons is meant to reach not only Christians, but all men and all peoples on earth.
He who takes part in this study session or who has read Alain Pilote’s book, thinks he is in a dream, that he is in another world, a world without poverty, a world with no unemployment, a world that offers sufficient means for everyone and for each people to lead a dignified and serene life.
This dream seems to be the historical accomplishment of the Acts of the Apostles: “The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul; everybody had more than enough, and nobody had too little.” (cf. Acts 4:31-35.)
This is astonishing. It feels like having “Heaven on earth”! Is this but a dream? At first, it would seem that Social Credit is a dream meant to be achieved only in heaven and not on earth.
What must we do then? Get rid of it? Return it to heaven? Abandon it to some utopist, to some saint or to some religious congregation? I don’t think so! Since Heaven has descended upon earth in Christ’s Divine Person,(an extraordinary mystery of the Christian Faith), with His message of love and brotherhood, we want Heaven to grow upon earth. We want the teachings of love, of forgiveness, of self-giving service, to be the driving ideas that will help us change the world, to transform it for all to see and in brotherhood, so there will no longer be millions of poor people who live in dire poverty and a few wealthy people who live carefree, in luxury!
I am convinced that Social Credit and these lessons on Economic Democracy can inspire our hearts and minds to no longer accept passively the world as we know it today. Social Credit, as offered by C.H.Douglas and put forth by Louis Even, invites us to “dream”, to look forward to creating a new economy, to rewriting human history, to turn this earth into a “common home”, to quote the words of Pope Francis in his Encyclical Letter Laudato Si.
We do need to “dream” because God has created us to “fly”, not to remain bogged down or grounded like rhinos! It was Icarus’s dream that lead man to create airplanes, to fly in space and to visit the moon! It is the dream of Douglas and Louis Even—and many of their successors, including the Pilgrims of Saint Michael—that invites us to believe that a new world can be achieved by implementing a new kind of economy. To achieve this, we must fight and we must believe in it!
Let us allow ourselves to be fascinated and captivated by these lessons. Let us allow ourselves to be taken “far away” that we may overcome the mountains of indifference, of social hatred, of economic injustice. Together we can truly transform this degraded earth so as to render it more welcoming to future generations. Let us not be satisfied with “what has taken place” (Acts 24:18) until now, but with our hearts filled with joy and hope, let us return to Jerusalem, let us return to our roots and say “He has truly risen” (Acts 24, 34).
We can truly be “reborn”, we can live as though regenerated, better still, as “arisen”, to love one another as brothers and sisters, sharing all material and spiritual goods!
Bishop Giorgio Bertin, ofm