For the second time in two days, Pope Francis pleaded Thursday for an economy based on “inclusion, care for our common home, and the integral development of individuals and peoples”, this time in an audience with the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, or UFI, in the Vatican.

Full text of the Holy Father’s address:

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to greet you on the occasion of your world Summit. This meeting is taking place in Rome, a city of faith and culture, a place of encounter of peoples and ideas through the ages.

As leaders in the exhibition and trade fair industry, you are gathering here not merely as professional organizers, but because you seek through your work to contribute to a more just and humane global economy.

In our ever-shrinking world, we are increasingly conscious that the different aspects of our lives and activities – including the social, cultural and ecological – are closely interrelated (cf. Laudato Si’, 137). This interconnectedness has inspired, in the business setting, the establishment of environmental, social and governance frameworks that can guide and assess the overall impact of economic and business activities.

In the case of your professional domain, it has been shown then that fairs and exhibitions not only have positive effects on regional economies and labour markets, but also offer significant opportunities for showcasing to the wider world the rich diversity and beauty of local cultures and ecosystems.

In a particular way, too, global exhibitions contribute to the growth of a culture of encounter, that strengthens bonds of solidarity and fosters mutual enrichment between the members of our human family (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 220).

Your work thus has a transcendent dimension. As a service to the common good, it should promote inclusion, care for our common home, and the integral development of individuals and peoples.

These ethical concerns are not secondary, but essential to forging an economy in which financial returns do not represent the only variable for measuring success.

Experience has taught you that, in the preparation and implementation of fairs, all the constitutive elements need to come together in a harmonious way, from human actors to construction materials and lighting, to plants and waste management. The greater the cooperation at both local and international levels, the greater their chance of broad success, both economically and humanly speaking. Exhibitions that help the local economy, engage its labour force, give value and prominence to its culture and reverently respect its human and natural ecology will ultimately be more successful and memorable. They will have an impact and appeal both local and worldwide.

By the very nature of a largescale exhibition, complex networks of human actors are needed, drawing on a wide range of organizers, local authorities, workers, trade industries, civic organizations, and so on. Despite the many potential difficulties that can arise in the course of preparing and realizing the fairs and exhibitions that are your specific competence, these events can create a network of just human relations that can endure well beyond the event itself.

You can be rightly proud of your initiatives when they generate a stronger awareness at the service of the common good and integral development.

Dear friends, I offer you my prayerful good wishes for your efforts to promote inventiveness and innovation in your industry. I invoke God’s blessings upon your deliberations in these days, on each of you and your families.

(Source: ZENIT; translation: Vatican)

Croatian PM in Vatican for talks on challenges for future of Europe

Also on Thursday, the Pope received in audience Prime Minister Andrej Plenković of Croatia, who subsequently met Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.

In a press release, the Holy See Press Office said that during the cordial talks in the Secretariat of State, both sides “expressed appreciation for the good bilateral relations that exist and the intention to further develop collaboration in areas of mutual interest”.  

They also touched upon the main commitments of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the coming six months, with particular reference to the challenges facing the future of Europe.

“Finally, several international and regional issues were discussed, including the situation of the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, migration and peace and security,” the Vatican statement said.

(Source: Vatican News)

Next on Novena:

Francis encourages Rome, other cities to seek unity, peace through fraternity

Pope agitates for global economic reform: “A rich world can and must put an end to poverty”

Pope issues plea to protect human life from technology and economy, “open doors to new forms of solidary fraternity”

Pope demands Davos put person, not power or profit, at centre of public policy

Thousands of young people to meet in Assisi to realise Pope’s dream of a “new economy on a human scale”


PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. University ethics lecturer with 4 years' experience in religion journalism.