Pope Francis says "As Christians we are called to a love without borders and without limits, a sign and witness that we can go beyond..." FULL TEXT to Centesimus Annus Foundation



Sala Clementina  - Saturday, 23 October 2021


Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

I am pleased to meet you in the context of your International Conference. Thank you, Madam President, for your kind words - and clear, as you always do, clear -. In these days you are dealing with great and essential issues: solidarity, cooperation and responsibility as antidotes to injustice, inequality and exclusion.

These are important reflections, in a time in which the uncertainties and precariousness that mark the existence of so many people and communities are aggravated by an economic system that continues to discard lives in the name of the god of money, instilling rapacious attitudes towards the resources of the Earth. and feeding many forms of iniquity. 
Faced with this, we cannot remain indifferent. But the answer to injustices and exploitation is not just denunciation; it is above all the active promotion of good: denouncing evil but promoting good. And for this I express my appreciation: for the activities you carry out, especially in the educational and training field, in particular for the commitment to finance studies and research for young people on new models of economic and social development inspired by the social doctrine of Church. It's important, we need it: in the soil polluted by the dominance of finance we need many small seeds that make a fair and beneficial economy, on a human scale and worthy of man, germinate. We need possibilities that come true, realities that give hope. This means putting the Church's social doctrine into practice.

I take up the word "dominance of finance". Four years ago, a great female economist came to see me who also had a job in a government. And she told me that she had tried to make a dialogue between economics, humanism and faith, religion, and that it went well, it is a dialogue that went well and continues to go well, in a reflection group. I tried the same - he told me - with finance, humanism and religion, and we couldn't even leave. Interesting. This makes me think. That woman made me feel that finance was something uninhabitable, something "liquid", "gaseous" that ends like the chain of Saint Anthony ... I tell you this experience, maybe it can help you.

Precisely the three words you have chosen - solidarity , cooperation and responsibility- they represent three main axes of the Church's social doctrine, which sees the human person, naturally open to relationships, as the apex of creation and the center of the social, economic and political order. With this gaze, attentive to the human being and sensitive to the concreteness of historical dynamics, social doctrine contributes to a vision of the world that is opposed to the individualist one, as it is based on the interconnection between people and has the common good as its goal. . And at the same time it opposes the collectivist vision, which today re-emerges in a new version, hidden in the projects of technocratic homologation. But it is not a "political matter": the social doctrine is anchored to the Word of God, to guide processes of human promotion starting from faith in God made man. For this reason it must be followed, loved and developed: let us become passionate about social doctrine again, let us make it known: it is a treasure of the ecclesial tradition! It is precisely in studying it that you too have felt called to commit yourselves against inequalities, which hurt in particular the most fragile, and to work for a real and effective fraternity.

Solidarity, cooperation, responsibility: three words that in these days you place as the cornerstones of your reflections and which recall the same mystery of God, who is the Trinity. God is a communion of Persons and directs us to fulfill ourselves through generous openness to others (solidarity), through collaboration with others (cooperation), through commitment to others(responsibility). And to do so in every expression of social life, through relationships, work, civil commitment, the relationship with creation, politics: in every area today we are more than ever obliged to bear witness to attention for others, to to go out of ourselves, to commit ourselves with gratuitousness to the development of a more just and equitable society, where selfishness and partisan interests do not prevail. And at the same time we are called to watch over respect for the human person, his freedom, the protection of his inviolable dignity. Here is the mission to implement the social doctrine of the Church.

Dear friends, in carrying on these values ​​and this lifestyle - we know - we often go against the tide, but - let us always remember - we are not alone. God has come close to us. Not in words, but with his presence: in Jesus God became incarnate. And with Jesus, who became our brother, we recognize in every man a brother, in every woman a sister. Animated by this universal communion, as a believing community we can collaborate without fear with each one for the good of all: without closures, without exclusionary visions, without prejudices. As Christians we are called to a love without borders and without limits, a sign and witness that we can go beyond the walls of selfishness and personal and national interests; beyond the power of money which often decides the causes of peoples; beyond the fences of ideologies, that divide and amplify hatred; beyond any historical and cultural barrier and, above all, beyond indifference, that culture of indifference which, unfortunately, is daily. We can all be brothers, and therefore we can and must think and work as brothers of all. It may seem like an unattainable utopia. Instead, we prefer to believe that it is a possible dream, because it is the same dream of the triune God. With his help it is a dream that can begin to come true even in this world.

It is therefore a great task to build a more united, just and equitable world. For a believer it is not something practical detached from doctrine, but it is giving body to faith, to the praise of God, a lover of man, a lover of life. Yes, dear brothers and sisters, the good you do to every man on earth rejoices the heart of God in heaven. Continue your journey with courage. I accompany you with prayer and bless you and your commitment. And please don't forget to pray for me. Thanks.