MADISON, Wis. (7/10/09)--Love and credit unions function in the same manner, said Pope Benedict XVI Tuesday in his third encyclical, “Charity in Truth,” which focused on the economy, business and finance. “If love is wise, it can find ways of working in accordance with provident and just expediency, as is illustrated in significant ways by much of the experience of credit unions,” he wrote (The Wall Street Journal Blogs July 9). The encyclical is widely seen as being directed at G-8 world leaders gathering in Italy this week. The Pope speaks about the need to use the economy to help the poor and care for the environment. He also supports globalization as a way to lessen poverty, and he supports the idea of a free market. The pope is from Germany, where the first credit society in the world was established in 1849 by Frederick Raiffeisen, the mayor of a small town. Raiffeisen devised a credit society to help people help themselves instead of relying on charity from land barons. In 1852, Raiffeisen and Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch established the first true credit unions in Germany (Credit Union National Association).