Pope Francis' Advice "If you want to be a "soul" in the business world, don't forget to take care of your own soul, the one that comes to us from God." FULL TEXT
ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATION "SOUL FOR SOCIAL IN CORPORATE VALUES"
Monday, March 14, 2022
Ladies and Gentlemen!
I thank the President for her introductory words and I warmly welcome you all.
Within the Union of Industrialists and Companies of the provinces of Lazio, twenty years ago you gave life to your Association, with the aim of ethical and social promotion. For this you have chosen to use the word "soul": a very demanding word! It suggests a reality that does not have its own visibility, but stimulates and motivates your work environment from the inside. Above all, it is up to you to take stock of the objectives achieved in these twenty years. For my part, I would like to encourage you and offer you some food for thought.
Today, keeping the goal focused on the common good, it is necessary that politics and the economy, in constant dialogue with each other, place themselves decisively at the service of life, human life and the life of creation, our common home (cf. . Laudato si ' , 189), not in the service of non-life or death, as unfortunately happens at times. The great financial crisis of 2007-2008 should have pushed in this direction. Yes, there has been a positive reaction, but it seems to me that basically the world has continued and continues to be governed by obsolete criteria. Not to mention the geopolitical-military sphere, where several regional wars and especially the ongoing war in Ukraine show that those who govern the fate of peoples have not yet received the lesson of the tragedies of the twentieth century.
You, who mainly represent the reality of small and medium-sized enterprises, are well aware of how difficult it is, in this context, to develop and create jobs in compliance with ethical values and social responsibility. But we must not be discouraged and resigned. Some think that the ethical and social criteria are like a "cage" that mortifies freedom and economic creativity. In reality, it is quite the opposite, or at least it can be. In fact, if we want the future world to be habitable and worthy of man, the economy must be freer from the power of finance and more creative in seeking forms of production oriented towards an integral ecology. That the economy is concrete, not "liquid" or "gaseous", as is the danger of finances. Globalization must be "governed",
Many, understandably, would say: but what can we, small entrepreneurs, do in the face of the "giant Goliath" of financial and technocratic power? I think - and I hope that the construction of a new economy, respectful of human dignity and the environment, can and should start from the bottom. Indeed - we know - it has already started from the bottom: all over the world there are many experiences of ethical and sustainable business that trace a path. It is necessary to encourage communication and sharing between these experiences, so that a network is formed capable of having an impact on ever more extensive levels. On this theme of the new economy, the concrete economy, I spoke in the book - the last book I wrote - Let us dream , Let's go back to dreaming is the Italian version. I focused on an analysis of this problem of the concreteness of the economy and the visibility of the economy, to avoid what is defined as "liquidity" or "gaseousness". Maybe it can illustrate what I mean here.
Finally, allow me a "bishop's" advice: If you want to be a "soul" in the business world, don't forget to take care of your own soul, the one that comes to us from God. And for this you must resist the temptation of activism and find times to reflect, to think, to contemplate. Sometimes activism destroys our interiority; I am not speaking of religiosity but of human interiority. Then, that for a religion is a personal option, but first there is the human interiority. Also for this the association can be useful, with proposals. But it is above all a personal need: everyone, if he wants to animate , must let himself be animated interiorly from the good, the beautiful and the true. This is demonstrated by the testimonies of Italian entrepreneurs who have been able to increase not only profits but also life, the quality of life, the quality of work, with freedom and creativity, because they had an enlightened conscience, an enlightened interiority. And this brings you to creativity, it brings you - I dare to say - to poetry . Man's work is also poetry: doing things.
Dear entrepreneurs, thank you for your visit. I wish all the best for your work and for the association activity. The Lord bless you and your families. And pray for me, because I need it. And if someone does not pray or cannot pray or does not want to pray or does not know how to pray, at least send me good thoughts and good "waves". Thank you.