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Presentation of the 'Economy of Francis' Event in the Vatican © Zenit - Rosa Die Alcolea

‘The Economy of Francis’: Pope Summons Young People and Economists to Assisi to ‘Change the World’

Will Gather in Assisi from March 26 to 28, 2020

“The Economy of Francis” is an event of study, meeting, and research that will bring together young scholars and operators of the economy, summoned by Pope Francis to Assisi, from March 26-28, 2020. This Tuesday morning, May 14, 2019, the event was presented in the Holy See Press Office, with the intervention of Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development; Monsignor Domenico Sorrentino, Archbishop-Bishop of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino; Professor Luigino Bruni of Political Economy of the Free University Mary Most Holy Assunta of Rome (Italy) and Consultor of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life; the Mayor of Assisi, Stefania Proietti; and Father Mauro Gambetti, Custodian of the Sacred Convent of Assisi.

Monsignor Domenico Sorrentino, Archbishop of Assisi, highlighted the symbolic importance of the place where it will be held: Assisi, “city of peace,” since Saint John Paul II called the First World Day of Prayer for Peace, held there in October 1986, in which religious leaders from the whole world took part.

The Spirit of Assisi

 This project is situated in the wake of the “Spirit of Assisi, and inspired in the teaching of the Pope who in Evangelii Gaudium and Laudato Si’ energetically criticized the pathological state of a great part of the world economy, referring to it as an “economy that kills,” and showing how it does so at the same time with persons and the environment, thus killing the future, he said.

The discussions will take place in Assisi from March 26-28, 2020, and a one-day meeting with the Pontiff will take place, which no doubt will be “in the conclusive moment,” pointed out the organizers.

A Social, Not “Socialist,” Economy

 For his part, Cardinal Peter Turkson indicated that the event is inspired in the social economy, and he warned against confusing it “with a Socialist economy.”

The Secretary of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development also explained that the recipient of the economy is man, and he recalled that this concept is developed in Evangelii Gaudium. “It’s an economy at the service of the human person, an inclusive economy. It promotes the dignity of persons; this is the inclusive economy of Pope Francis.”

A Pact to “Change This World”

 The Holy Father would like the event to be “addressed to young people,” added Professor of Economics Luigino Bruni, concretely, to young people to study for a doctorate, to work, to be in contact with the society, and it’s also a convocation for the leaders of the economy.

“A pact with you all to change this world, a commitment, because you all still have the opportunity to do so,” said the Pontiff, according to Professor Bruni.

Registration Is Open

Registration is already open so that all young people worldwide can take part. The event will be held in March of 2020, around the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, March 19, specified the Mayor of Assisi Stefania Proietti, Professor, and Engineer. “It’s an unprecedented, very powerful event; we are very excited preparing it.”

Moreover, the speakers said, in a hopeful tone, that young people and brilliant minds of the global economy will attend. The economic crisis isn’t disconnected from the environmental crisis, which is the crisis of the poor.”

Assisi, Sustainable City

 The Mayor described Assisi as a “sustainable city,” where an “integral economy” is possible and she said that the Italian locality must be a “coherent” city (meaning that the city of Assisi must be coherent with this philosophy, as the event will take place there).

Taking part in the organization of “The Economy of Francis,” which the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development is also sponsoring, are the Diocese of Assisi, the Seraphic Institute, the Municipality of Assisi and the Focolare Center for the Economy of Communion.

“We are not closed to any suggestions wherever they come from,” said the Archbishop of Assisi. “What interests us — using the terminology desired by the Pope and also believing to interpret it — is not to hold an event but to unleash a process,” he added.

An Initiative for All Men

 The Italian Franciscan said he was “very grateful” and that the initiative “is something “very beautiful, which has come out of the Pope’s heart.”

Fater Gambetti explained the subject is not one that “only concerns Catholics or Franciscans, but the whole world.” With the force of being “coagulated” in all with Saint Francis’ message to all men of good will.

An “integral economy” is the experience proposed to young people, a model of the economy, “in which we suggest they come together and share.” “This is the economy of the future, and he added that there are people already involved in Universities and Centers of Bologna, Milan, Naples and other places of Italy and Europe.

Circularity of Goods

 “When you enter the Convent, you leave all your goods behind. I gave up my father’s house (the estate). This opened a way to me, the way of poverty. This has given me freedom. Poverty of heart: to be always naked. A look on others: it’s a great door that leads to communion. Happiness lies in this communion.”

So the Custodian of the Franciscan Convent of Assisi clarified: “Of what use is wealth? The problem is when one loses sight of the poor. When wealth closes itself. Wealth loses its meaning if it closes itself to others,” and he referred to the importance of the “circularity of goods.”

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