Pope Francis has granted for the first time ever an interview with a business publication, and in it has underscored the dignity that having work confers.
This morning, in the Italian national business newspaper ‘Il Sole 24 Ore,’ the Holy Father discussed in a wide-ranging interview with its director, Guido Gentili, various socio-economic themes, and stressed: “Work and creative genius [are needed] for a new economic order.”
Various topics such as work, unemployment, migrants, peace, and Europe were discussed.
“Behind every activity there is a human person,” the Pope said, noting that occasional business mentality to think money is made by money, rather than money is made through work needs to be re-understood.
“Money, real money, is done with work. It is work that confers dignity on man, not money.”
A healthy economy “is never disconnected from the meaning of what is produced and economic activity,” he noted, adding “It is always also an ethical fact.”
Turning to unemployment, the Pope lamented that this reality “affecting several European countries is the consequence of an economic system that is no longer capable of creating jobs, because it has put an idol at the center, which is called money.”
Families and People Must Be at Center, Not Solely Profit
The Holy Father emphasized we must fight to put the families, the people back in the center.
His idea of hope is clear: “The distribution and participation in the wealth produced, the integration of the company into a territory, social responsibility, corporate welfare, equal treatment of wages between men and women, the joining of working times and life times, respect for the environment, the recognition of the importance of man in relation to the machine and the recognition of the right salary, the ability to innovate are important elements that keep alive the community dimension of a company.”
The Pope pointed out: “I think it is important to work together to build the common good and a new humanism of work, promote a work that respects the dignity of the person who does not just look for profit or production needs but promotes a worthy life knowing that the good of people and the good company go hand in hand.”
Profit is a good thing as long as “actions and responsibilities, justice and profit, production of wealth and its redistribution, operation and respect for the environment, become elements that over time guarantee the life of the company.
“From this point of view the meaning of the company widens and makes us understand that the sole pursuit of profit no longer guarantees the life of the company.”
Courage and Creative Genius
Recalling an encounter organized in 2016 with Confindustria during the Jubilee with 7,000 entrepreneurs and families, in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, Francis said: “I remember many faces behind which there were passion and projects, hard work and genius.”
“We need courage and creative genius.”
Work, therefore, as a central point of life: “The person who keeps himself and his family with his work develops his dignity; work creates dignity,” he noted.
Businesses, he also underscored, “can make a great contribution so that work retains its dignity by recognizing that man is the most important resource of every company, working to build the common good, paying attention to the poor.”