The Pope has repeated his call for “more inclusive and equitable economic models that would permit each person to share in the resources of this world and have opportunities to realize his or her potential”.
Driving the news
Francis was speaking Monday in an audience with the Council for Inclusive Capitalism, a non-profit organisation that the Pope recalled was born out of the Fortune-Time Global Forum of 2016.
Insisting on the need for “a more humane” economy and the “eradication of poverty on the global level”, the Pope said it was imperative to seek ways to make capitalism “a more inclusive instrument for integral human wellbeing”.
“This entails overcoming an economy of exclusion and reducing the gap separating the majority of people from the prosperity enjoyed by the few”, Francis explained.
Deploring the “rising levels of poverty on a global scale” that “bear witness to the prevalence of inequality rather than a harmonious integration of persons and nations”, Francis insisted that “an economic system that is fair, trustworthy and capable of addressing the most profound challenges facing humanity and our planet is urgently needed”.
The Pope pleaded with the members of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism “to persevere along the path of generous solidarity and to work for the return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favours human beings”.
“A glance at recent history, in particular the financial crisis of 2008, shows us that a healthy economic system cannot be based on short-term profit at the expense of long-term productive, sustainable and socially responsible development and investment”, Francis warned.
The Pope continued that although it is true that business produces wealth and creates employment, authentic economic progress cannot be based on profit alone, but must look to the development of the whole human person.
Balancing budgets, improving infrastructure and offering consumer goods are worthy activities, Francis explained.
But he added that “a renewal, purification and strengthening of solid economic models” is also needed “based on our own personal conversion and generosity to those in need”.
Why it matters
“An economic system detached from ethical concerns does not bring about a more just social order, but leads instead to a ‘throw away’ culture of consumption and waste”, Francis implored.
Instead, society must respect the “moral dimension of economic life”, the Pope said, which means acting “with fraternal charity, desiring, seeking and protecting the good of others and their integral development”.
We must set ourselves the goal “of extending the opportunities and benefits of our economic system to all people”, Francis explained.
“In the end, it is not simply a matter of ‘having more’, but ‘being more’. What is needed is a fundamental renewal of hearts and minds so that the human person may always be placed at the centre of social, cultural and economic life”, the Pope urged.
For the record
On Monday, too, Francis took to Twitter to reiterate that “we must put an end to the culture of waste, we who pray to the Lord to give us our daily bread”.
“Food waste contributes to hunger and to climate change”, the Pope denounced.
Francis included in his tweet a link to the website of a conference on food loss and waste taking place through today in the Vatican, jointly sponsored by the Pontifical Academy for Sciences and the Rockefeller Foundation.
The conference has as its goal that of providing recommendations to citizens, corporations, governments, and international organisations on how to reduce food waste and ensure global food security.