By Vatican News
Pope Francis on Monday reflected on the serious and crucial challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic in the social and economic field that, he said, demand a generous and ethical response on the part of those tasked with business management and economic development.
Addressing representatives of a top Italian investment bank – the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti – the Pope noted that the task of the Institute founded 170 years ago, has evolved adapting to the needs of society and of the country.
He said the process of development is ongoing and requires a generous commitment as economic dynamics are at the forefront while we search for a way forward in this difficult time of the pandemic.
The Pope noted that an institution such as this plays a pivotal role in development as it is involved in investment, support for local authorities, for the training of professionals and productivity.
At a time such as this, he said, with very significant repercussions on productivity, and in need of renewal or radical transformation, the work of an investment bank has an important impact on commercial dynamics and has the responsibility of preventing “the concentration of trade and commerce in the hands of a few realities of global dimension.”
Pope Francis reminded those present that according to the social doctrine of the Church a vision in which investors “expect a fair return” is acceptable, but resources must be collected and channelled into the “financing of initiatives aimed at social and collective promotion.”
“Christian thought is not opposed in principle to the prospect of profit, but rather it is opposed to profit at any cost,” he said.
The individual, the Pope added, must never become a slave of a process “that he or she cannot in any way control or oppose,” a mere cog in the wheel of a mechanism focused on profit.
The Pope reflected on how business management requires “fair and clear conduct that does not give in to corruption.”
He said that within “the exercise of one's responsibilities it is necessary to know how to distinguish good from evil,” highlighting the fact that in the field of economics and finance, transparency and the search for good results must go hand-in-hand.
“It is a matter of identifying and courageously pursuing lines of action that are respectful, and indeed promote the human person and society,” he said.
Pope Francis also called on all those who work in the sector to encourage the relaunch of an economy that has solidarity as a core value that is a driving force for the development of people, families and society as a whole.
Only in this way, he concluded, will it be possible to accompany the gradual progress of the nation and serve the common good, and he urged those present to be builders of justice and peace as they continue in their work with generosity and solidarity.