By Deborah Castellano Lubov
Pope Francis says business has the power and experience to help suffering people and to help tackle crises worldwide, including the pandemic and war.
The Holy Father made these observations when addressing a delegation from Deloitte Global on Thursday in the Vatican.
Deloitte is one of the so-called 'Big Four' international accounting and multi-services firms worldwide, and employs some 350,000 people globally.
The Pope thanked them for their visit and work, before turning his attention to the numerous challenges plaguing the world, and suggesting three ways they can promote a more humane, just, and fraternal world.
Three suggestions for promoting a more just and humane world
The first, the Pope said, "is always to remain aware that you can leave a mark."
This "mark," he highlighted, ought to always be a positive one, aimed at advancing integral human development.
"You are well aware of your 'power,'” the Pope said, noting: "This should be accompanied constantly by the desire to direct your analysis and proposals towards choices consistent with the paradigm of integral ecology."
The Pope's second suggestion was for the executives "to take up and fulfil your cultural responsibility, which also stems from your wealth of intelligence and connections."
His third suggestion was to enhance diversity.
Crises create a sort of 'counter-development'
Over the past fifteen years, the Pope said, the world has experienced severe and continuing crises.
"We had not finished dealing with the financial crisis of 2007 before we had to face the crisis of sovereign debt and of real economies, followed by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine with all its global consequences and threats," the Pope lamented.
In the meantime, he also deplored, "our planet continued to suffer from the effects of climate change; cruel and hidden wars were being fought in various regions, and tens of millions of people have been forced to migrate from their homelands."
While daily life improved for one part of humanity, he noted, the other part has suffered from "unscrupulous choices" and "has become the main victim of a sort of counter-development."
Consultants called to propose new directions for new challenges
The Pope recalled that dignified employment for people, care for our common home, economic and social value, and positive impact on communities are all interconnected.
He noted they should adopt and propose policies that also promote quality of life globally, and put first the integral wellbeing of the entire person and of every person.
'Integral' consultants are required
"No profit," the Pope said, "is in fact legitimate when it falls short of the objective of the integral promotion of the human person, the universal destination of goods, the preferential option for the poor, and, we can add, the care of our common home."
The Holy Father encouraged them to become “integral consultants” in order to "cooperate in reorienting our way of living on this our planet, which we have damaged in terms of both the climate and inequality."
Pope Francis concluded by thanking them for this meeting, expressing his good wishes for their work, and blessing them and their families, especially their children, the sick, and the elderly.