By Vatican News staff writer
Pope Francis on Wednesday, sent a message to Argentina’s Christian Association of Business Executives (ACDE) on the occasion of its 24th annual meeting on the theme: “Towards a more humane capitalism.”
The annual meeting, taking place from 30 June to 1 July, aims to examine the economy and society of Argentina, exploring how it should evolve in order to generate prosperity and development for all, finding the means of mitigating the economic and social damages that have been brought to the fore by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing the business leaders, the Pope recalled the joy he felt when he signed a Decree recongizing the the heroic virtue of Enrique Shaw, an Argentinian businessman who died of a malignant tumor in 1962 at the age of 41. He called on the venerable to accompany the business leaders in their meetings and to help them “move forward.”
Christian vision of the economy
Pope Francis explained that the Christian vision of the economy and of society – different from the pagan or ideological – is born from the message of Jesus and from the Beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 25).
In this light, “everyone must participate in building a community that is fair, economically and socially, for all: trade unionists and entrepreneurs, workers and managers,” the Pope said.
“We must follow the path of the social economy,” he added.
Return to what is tangible
Elaborating further on the economy, Pope Francis pointed out that in the last decades, the economy has generated finances which carry the risk of ending up like the chain of Saint Anthony – making us believe that there is a lot and, in the end, we find there is nothing.
In the face of this, he invited the business leaders to “return to the economy of what is tangible”, not losing sight of the real which is family, homeland and production – “the work of all”, and that there should be no lack of work.
Insisting that “the economy is social,” the Pope underscored that in a society with a large margin of poverty, it is important to ask how the economy is doing, “whether it is fair, whether it is social” or whether it simply pursues personal interests.
The Pope went on to invite the business leaders to proceed towards the common good through creating employment, especially in the wake of the pandemic that caused many people to lose their jobs.
He expressed his opinion that “creativity always comes from the ground up,” and said the meeting – a challenge to creativity – should aim to create work.
The creativity of investments
Further addressing the business leaders, the Holy Father stressed that investing in the common good involves not hiding money in tax havens, but working for the good of all.
“Investment means giving life, creating: it is creative. Knowing how to invest, not to hide,” the Pope said, pointing out that one hides when one’s conscience is not clear.
Illustrating his point further, the Pope told an anecdote about what is said in the countryside when a cow does not give milk and questions are raised about why she is “hiding” the milk.
He explained that when we hide, “it is because something is going wrong” and to counter that, it is necessary to have clarity, transparency and production through which we can gradually build social trust.
Concluding his message, the Pope expressed hope that the meeting would be useful and prayed that Our Lady may protect the participants.
“Be creative, be bold, and please pray for me too,” he urged the business leaders.