VATICAN CITY, JUNE 14, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The love-truth relationship is the force that can give direction to economic life, Benedict XVI says.
The Pope affirmed this Saturday when he addressed the 45th ordinary session of the Council of Europe Development Bank, which for the first time held its annual meeting in the Vatican.
The Holy Father lamented that liberation from totalitarian regimes has led to “mere economic progress in detriment of a more human development respecting the dignity and nobility of man.”
Meanwhile, he cautioned that the spiritual riches that have “molded European identity” have been ignored.
“Christianity has enabled Europe to understand what liberty, responsibility and ethics are, which permeate its laws and social structures,” the Pontiff said. “To marginalize Christianity, also through the exclusion of the symbols that manifest it, would contribute to amputate our continent of its essential origin that nourishes it tirelessly and that contributes to its true identity.”
Benedict XVI went on to consider an economic development based on fraternity, which “makes room for gratitude that, though being indispensable, is hardly conceivable or possible to attain when the only ends sought are efficiency and profit.”
“There is a rich past in Europe which witnessed the development of economic experiences based on fraternity,” he stressed.
“There are companies which have a social purpose or one of mutual benefit,” the Holy Father continued. “They have had to suffer the laws of the market, but hope to find the strength again of the generosity of their origins.”
The Pontiff said he thinks the Development Bank “hopes to really live solidarity, to respond to the ideal of fraternity that I have just mentioned, and to explore areas in which fraternity and the logic of gift can be expressed.”
“These are ideals that have Christian roots and that have preceded, with the desire for peace, the birth of the Council of Europe,” he noted.
And the Bishop of Rome continued, “Fraternity is generous, it doesn’t calculate. Perhaps these criteria should be applied more in the internal decisions of the bank and in its external action.”
Benedict XVI called for a “novelty” that would “introduce a logic that would make of the human person, and in particular of families and really needy persons, the center and end of the economy.”
“This moment must not lead to limitations based only on a strictly financial analysis,” he said. “On the contrary, it must allow the Development Bank to show its originality reinforcing social integration, environmental management and the development of public infrastructure with a social vocation.”
The Pontiff encouraged “the work of the bank in this sense and in that of solidarity,” which will enable it to be “also faithful to its vocation.”