Cardinal Peter Turkson, the head of the pontifical council, said banks needed to question whether they were "serving the interests of humanity" in the way they operated.
The proposal was short on specific detail, beyond calling for a new tax on international financial transactions.
The Vatican hardly has an exemplary record on financial transparency and propriety.
Last year the Vatican Bank, known officially as the Institute for Religious Works, had €23m (£20m) of its assets frozen by Italian authorities as part of an investigation into suspected money-laundering.
After years of resisting calls for greater openness, the scandal forced the bank to adopt international norms on transparency.
The Holy See's murky financial past has included, most notoriously, its involvement in the bankruptcy of Italy's biggest private bank, the Banco Ambrosiano, in the early 1980s.
Its president, Roberto Calvi, who was nicknamed "God's Banker", was found hanged beneath Blackfriars Bridge, with investigators unable to rule whether he had committed suicide or had been murdered.
Thomas J Reese, a Vatican analyst at Georgetown University in the US, said the "radical" proposals put forward on Monday aligned the Holy See with the Occupy Wall Street movement and meant that the Vatican's views on the economic crisis were "to the Left of every politician in the United States".
He said the proposals reflected many of the encyclicals and addresses issued by Benedict XVI on the global economy during the last six years of his papacy.
End of the Telegraph article.
The power of the false prophet
11. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
We haven't seen the last of the Vatican's influence in this matter.