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'Money Is to Serve, Not Govern,' Pope Tells Business Leaders

Speaking to UNIAPAC, Speaks on 3 Challenges of Business

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Money is to serve, not to govern.
Addressing participants in the Vatican conference hosted by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and UNIAPAC, Nov. 17-18, on the theme ‘Business Leaders as Agents of Economic and Social Inclusion,’ the Pontiff expressed this to business executives, reported Vatican Radio.
The conference is aimed at promoting business leaders as agents in social and economic inclusion, reflecting with them on three challenges of business: the proper use of money, honesty, and solidarity.
In his native Spanish, Francis urged them to be aware of what believes are three challenges of doing business: “the good use of money, honesty, and solidarity”.
Using Money Well
Saying money is “one of the most difficult topics of moral perception” and can be “the dung of the devil,” Francis noted its function is to serve, not govern.
“Money does not have a neutral value; rather, it acquires value according to the end and circumstances for which it is used. When one affirms the neutrality of money, they fall into its power. Businesses should not exist to make money, even if money serves to mediate its functioning. Businesses exist to serve.”
Francis warned against when money causes some to exploit others and hurt the poor.
Addressing the second challenge for business people of being honest, Francis noted: “Corruption is the worst social plague.”
It is a “law of the jungle stripped of any social reason” and “an idol,” he said. “Any attempt at corruption, active or passive, is to begin to adore the god of money.”
Solidarity, the Pontiff said, is the third challenge of business, and an important aspect of this element is gratuity.
“The just relationship between managers and workers,” he said, “should be respected and required by all parties. However, at the same time, a business is a community of work, in which all merit respect and fraternal appreciation from their superiors, colleagues, and subordinates.” A respect, he said, which should “extend also to the local community”.
Francis urged business people to collaborate “to create sources of dignified, stable, and abundant work, both in those places from which migrants originate and those in which they arrive… It is important to continue making immigration an important factor of development.”
Pope Francis concluded with a mention of the vocation of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), the chief tax collector who climbed a tree to see Jesus pass by and was converted by his efforts.
“May this conference be like the Sycamore of Jericho – a tree upon which all can climb – so that, through the scientific discussion of the aspects of business activities, they may encounter the sight of Jesus and from here they may obtain efficacious orientations to make their business activities always promote the common good.”

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