JESUS was a fiscal conservative who favoured low-yield bonds and secure tax-free investment vehicles, the Archbishop of Canterbury has claimed.
In his Easter address Dr Rowan Williams said the banks had forgotten the central message of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus calls for the independent regulation of the credit rating agencies and condemns all those who offer mortgages at more than three and a half times joint annual salary.
Quoting the Gospel of St Matthew, the archbishop said: "And Jesus did sayeth unto his disciples, 'why hast though forsaken me and taken out yet another credit card with 0% interest for the first six months before rising to 19.8% for all new purchases?
"'Didst thou not hearest my Father when he sayeth you can deposit up to 7,200 shekels a year in an Individual Savings Account?'."
Dr Williams added: "The utter collapse of the entire financial world is God's way of telling us that we don't need iPods, plasma screens, multi-billion pound property portfolios and ornate buildings stuffed full of priceless art and solid gold crucifixes. Hang on, that didn't come out right."
The archbishop also called for Britain to become a monk-based economy using newly-closed factories as production centres for modest amounts of honey and mead.
He said: "No need to go mad. Just enough to keep us all in communion wine, heavy underpants and cassock starch."
Meanwhile in Rome, Pope Benedict use his Easter message to urge the warring factions in the Middle East to put aside their differences, 'except all the ones based on religion, obviously'.