Papal Audience to Christian Union of Italian Business Executives (UCID)

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Pope Defends Woman's Right to Work, Be a Mom

Speaking to Christian Business Executives, Francis Encourages Them to Have Workplaces Where Holiness Thrives

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Pope Francis brought attention to the challenges women face in the workplace, mentioning how women can lose their jobs when they become mothers.

Speaking to some 7,000 Christian business executives in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall on Saturday, he lamented, “Many, many times we’ve heard that a woman goes to her boss and says: ‘I have to tell you that I am pregnant’ — Then at the end of the month she doesn’t work any more.”

“The woman must be protected, helped in this double endeavor: the right to work and the right to maternity,” the Holy Father said.

He made this statement off-the-cuff as he was addressing the Christian Union of Italian Business Executives (UCID), which is made up of Italian Catholic entrepreneurs who are committed to working toward the common good.

A theme at the center of the Pope’s address was that companies can become places of holiness. The Pontiff encouraged the business people present to continue their noble efforts of working for the common good and to never forget that they are called to be social missionaries of the Gospel, and to remember the poor, even if circumstances are difficult.

The Holy Father also advised the executives to maintain a proper balance between family and work life and reminded them of the good it does to direct economic activity in a way that puts the person and the common good at the forefront.

“You are called,” he reminded those present, “to cooperate in order to grow an entrepreneurial spirit of subsidiarity, to deal with the ethical challenges of the market and, above all the challenge of creating good employment opportunities.”

Pope Francis commended their engaging together for this goal, and prayed that it bear fruit as long as the Gospel remains alive and present in their hearts and minds.

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On the Net:

UCID’s official website (in Italian): http://ucid.it

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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