Pope Benedict XVI plans to issue an encyclical denouncing tax evasion and the use of offshore tax shelters as Italy embarks upon a campaign to crack down on tax avoidance.
The encyclical will reportedly refer to tax havens as "socially unjust," according to The Times Online. The Pope objects to the tax havens' benefits to the rich as they deprive society at large of tax revenues.
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has begun clamping down on tax evasion in an effort to collect uncollected taxes that are estimated to equal 27 percent of Italy's gross domestic product. Prodi has asked church leaders to denounce tax evasion, complaining that he rarely hears the subject mentioned in church sermons.
The encyclical, which is Benedict's second, will reportedly deal with other economic issues, including the process of globalization. He favors economic structures that can help with providing more equitable distribution of resources globally.
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