Vatican City, Nov 11, 2019 / 07:01 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Monday called for the renewal and purification of existing economic models to be fair, trustworthy, and capable of extending opportunities to all, not only a few.
“An inclusive capitalism that leaves no one behind, that discards none of our brothers or sisters, is a noble aspiration,” Pope Francis said Nov. 11 in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
“A glance at recent history, in particular the financial crisis of 2008, shows us that a healthy economic system cannot be based on short-term profit at the expense of long-term productive, sustainable and socially responsible development and investment,” he said.
The pope met with members of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism, whose vision he said involves “overcoming an economy of exclusion and reducing the gap separating the majority of people from the prosperity enjoyed by the few.”
“You have set before yourselves the goal of extending the opportunities and benefits of our economic system to all people,” he said. “An economic system that is fair, trustworthy and capable of addressing the most profound challenges facing humanity and our planet is urgently needed.”
Pope Francis said that those who engage in business and economic life have “a noble vocation” to serve the common good by creating jobs, increasing prosperity, and working to make the goods of this world more accessible to all.
“When we recognize the moral dimension of economic life, which is one of the many aspects of Catholic social doctrine that must be integrally respected, we are able to act with fraternal charity, desiring, seeking and protecting the good of others and their integral development,” he explained.
The pope warned that “an economic system detached from ethical concerns” leads to a “throw away” culture of consumption and waste.
Pope Francis recalled his meeting in 2016 with participants in the Fortune-Time Global Forum in which he called for “more inclusive and equitable economic models that would permit each person to share in the resources of this world and have opportunities to realize his or her potential.” The pope said that the Council for Inclusive Capitalism was born out of that forum.
“Rising levels of poverty on a global scale bear witness to the prevalence of inequality rather than a harmonious integration of persons and nations … I encourage you to persevere along the path of generous solidarity and to work for the return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings,” the pope said.
“As my predecessor St. Paul VI reminded us, authentic development cannot be restricted to economic growth alone, but must foster the growth of each person and of the whole person,” he said. “This means more than balancing budgets, improving infrastructures or offering a wider variety of consumer goods.”
“What is needed is a fundamental renewal of hearts and minds so that the human person may always be placed at the centre of social, cultural and economic life,” Pope Francis said.
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