Richard Owen in Rome
Pope Benedict XVI today said that the global credit crisis shows that the world's financial systems are "built on sand" and that only the works of God have "solid reality".
Opening a Synod of Bishops in the Vatican the Pope referred to a passage from St Matthew's Gospel on false prophets, saying ''He who builds only on visible and tangible things like success, career and money builds the house of his life on sand''.
He added: ''We are now seeing, in the collapse of major banks, that money vanishes, it is nothing. All these things that appear to be real are in fact secondary. Only God's words are a solid reality''.