Pontiff Calls Recession an Opportunity

Says Successful Businesses Are Ethical Ones

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 18, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is recommending confidence in the midst of the global recession, since “it can be considered as an opportunity.”

The Pope said this today when he met with a group of Italian business leaders at the Vatican.

The Holy Father acknowledged how the “present crisis has sorely tested the economic and productive systems of several countries. Nevertheless, it must be lived with confidence, because it can be considered as an opportunity from the point of view of the revision of models of development and of a new organization of the world of finance, a ‘new time’ — as has been said — of profound revision.”

The Pontiff recalled his encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” in recommending that the human person be put at the center of economy and finance.

“What guides the Church in being a promoter of a similar objective is the conviction that work is a good for man, for the family and for society, and it is source of liberty and responsibility,” he explained.

Serving individuals

The Bishop of Rome acknowledged that owning a business is no small task, but he said there is proof the success of a business “depends on its attention to all the individuals with whom it establishes relations, of the ethicality of its plan and its activity.”

“A business can be vital and produce ‘social wealth’ if what guides businessmen and managers is a vision of the future, which prefers long-term investment to speculative profit and that promotes innovation rather than thinking of accumulating wealth for its own sake,” he said.

Benedict XVI called for a business logic presupposed by a “certain vision of man and of life; that is, a humanism that is born from the awareness of being called as individuals and as community to form part of the one family of God, who has created us in his image and likeness and has redeemed us in Christ; a humanism that revives charity and allows itself to be guided by truth; a humanism open to God and, precisely because of this, open to man and to life understood as a solidary and joyous task.”

“Development, in any sector of human existence,” he continued, “also implies openness to the transcendent, to the spiritual dimension of life, to trust in God, to love, to fraternity, to hospitality, to justice, to peace.”

The Pontiff concluded by calling to mind Lent as the context for his reflections, inviting the businessmen of the audience to revise “our own profound attitudes and to question ourselves on the consistency between the aims to which we tend and the means we use.”

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Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-28687?l=english

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