By Robin Gomes
Pope Francis on Saturday urged that the richness of the social teaching of the Catholic Church be spread across the world to help build a global culture of economic justice, equality and inclusion.
Global economic system needs ethics
“The current difficulties and crises within the global economic system have an undeniable ethical dimension,” the Pope said. “They are related to a mentality of egoism and exclusion that has effectively created a culture of waste blind to the human dignity of the most vulnerable,” the Pope told participants in an international conference organized by the Centesimus Annus pro Pontifice Foundation.
St. Pope John Paul II instituted the foundation in 1993 to promote the Church’s social doctrine, especially as outlined in his 1991 encyclical, “Centesimus Annus” with which he commemorated 100 years of Pope Leo XXIII’s landmark encyclical on the social teaching of the Church.
Participants in the May 24-26 Rome conference discussed the theme, “New Policies and Lifestyles in the Digital Age.”
Profit and social responsibility
In his talk, Pope Francis lamented the growing “globalization of indifference” that places “manifold obstacles to the integral human development” of many men and women both in poor as well as developed countries.
He particularly pointed to the “urgent ethical issues associated with the global movements of migration.”
The Holy Father also denounced the “false dichotomy” between the ethical teachings of religious traditions and the practical concerns of today’s business community. He said there is a natural bond between profit and social responsibility, an “indissoluble connection […] between an ethics respectful of persons and the common good, and the actual functionality of every economic financial system.”
Noting that the conference discussed how “uncertain job opportunities” and the “impact of the digital cultural revolution” threaten families, the Pope said the contribution of the foundation is an expression of the Church’s concern for young people and families.
The Pope also noted that the presence of the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians worldwide, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, was an “eloquent sign of this common responsibility.”