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A view inside the Congress Centre during the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland  A view inside the Congress Centre during the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland   (AFP or licensors)

Swiss bishops: Pope reminds leaders in Davos to work for common welfare

The Swiss Catholic Bishops Conference is present at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The Chairman of the Conference's Justice and Peace Commission speaks about the relevence of Pope Francis' message to participants.

By Linda Bordoni

Faith-based organizations are amongst those participating and sharing their concerns at the World Economic Forum, taking place in the Swiss resort of Davos until 26 January.

Amongst them is the Swiss Bishops’ Conference Commission for Justice and Peace whose Chairman and Secretary, Wolfgang Buergstein, told Vatican News that the Pope’s moral leadership gives an important direction to talks in Davos.

Buergstein said that not only from the Church’s perspective the Pope’s message is extremely important and that the theme chosen by the Forum for this year “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World “ is, in fact, very close to the Pope’s own message.

Economics in the service of common welfare

“He is ensuring that participants should not forget that all economics are in the service of common welfare” he said.

Buergstein explained that common welfare means not only achieving a big GDP or a better economic performance, but it means “even more the integration of all people into society and into the economic system”.

The Pope, he said, calls this “integral human development” which entails much more than having a job, having the money to feed your family and so on…

“I am trained as an economist and I was never told that economics is part of the much bigger social value: economics must be at the service of common welfare” he said.

Pope's voice resounds at Forum

Buergstein said Pope Francis’ stature as a moral authority is such that his voice is very much taken into account at meetings such as the one in Davos.

“I think the Pope’s engagement and all that he has already done makes him a very important figure with a very wide reputation” he said.

23 January 2018, 17:53