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Three Conditions for a Consultant to Be Able to Correct the World, According to Pope Francis

(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 22.09.2022).- On Thursday morning, September 24, the Holy Father received in special audience, in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, the participants in the Deloitte Global Meeting. As is known, Deloitte is a management consulting company.

Here is the English version of the Pope’s address.

* * *

Dear friends, welcome!

I thank Mr Renjen for his words summarizing your work of assisting the business world to make right decisions in diverse situations. I have learned that at any given time of the day there are 350,000 people working for your company engaged in providing advice and assistance to other organizations. This is a weighty responsibility!

Today, the world is suffering from worsening environmental conditions. Moreover, many populations and social groups live in undignified manner due to a lack of nutrition, health, education and other fundamental rights. While our human family is globalized and interconnected, poverty, injustice and inequalities remain.

In what ways, then, can consultants, managers and experienced professionals help in reversing or at least correcting this situation? How are they to organize their work in order to strive for a more humane, just and fraternal world? I would like to suggest three such ways.

1st To keep alive the awareness that you can leave a mark

The first is always to remain aware that you can leave a mark. This means ensuring that your mark is positive and moves towards integral human development. Your knowledge, experiences, skills and vast network of relationships constitute an immense «non-material fund» that can help entrepreneurs, bankers, managers and public administrators to understand their situations, to imagine the future and to make decisions. By helping them to understand, therefore, you help them to make decisions. This gives your organization, and each one of you, the ability to guide choices, influence criteria and evaluate priorities for companies, universities, supranational bodies, national and local governments, and decision makers at the political level.

You are well aware of your «power». This should be accompanied constantly by the desire to direct your analysis and proposals towards choices consistent with the paradigm of integral ecology. A good question to ask yourselves when evaluating what is and what is not effective would be: «What kind of world do we want to leave for our children and grandchildren?»

2nd Assume and exercise your cultural responsibility

The second suggestion I would offer is to take up and fulfil your cultural responsibility, which also stems from your wealth of intelligence and connections. By «cultural responsibility» I mean two things: ensuring adequate professional standards, and also an anthropological and ethical standard that enables you to suggest responses that are consistent with an evangelical vision of the economy and society; in other words, with Catholic social doctrine. This is a matter of assessing the direct and indirect effects of decisions, and their impact, first on communities, individuals and the environment, and only then on businesses. «The different cultures that have flourished over the centuries need to be preserved, lest our world be impoverished. At the same time, those cultures should be encouraged to be open to new experiences through their encounter with other realities» (Fratelli Tutti, 134).

3rd Value diversity

A third suggestion is to enhance diversity. All human organizations – institutions, businesses, banks, associations, movements – have the right, if honestly and correctly led, to be able to safeguard and develop their own identity. Here we can speak of «entrepreneurial biodiversity», to use a good expression, as a guarantee of freedom of enterprise and freedom of choice for customers, consumers, savers and investors. Entrepreneurial biodiversity is also an indispensable condition of stability, equilibrium and human prosperity.  This is what takes place in nature and can also happen in economic «ecosystems».

Over the past fifteen years, the world has experienced severe and continuing crises. We had not finished dealing with the financial crisis of 2007 before we had to face the crisis of sovereign debt and of real economies, followed by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine with all its global consequences and threats.

In the meantime, our planet continued to suffer from the effects of climate change; cruel and hidden wars were being fought in various regions, and tens of millions of people have been forced to migrate from their homelands.  While daily life improved for one part of humanity, the other part has suffered from unscrupulous choices and has become the main victim of a sort of counter-development. Indeed, Saint Paul VI explained clearly that development of social justice is the new name for peace (cf. Populorum Progressio, 76-80).

What can professional consultants do in this difficult and uncertain situation? They can do a great deal by organizing their analyses and proposals with an integral perspective and vision. Indeed, dignified employment for people, care for our common home, economic and social value, and positive impact on communities are all interconnected.

Today’s consultants, aware of their role, are called to propose and discuss new directions for new challenges. The old schemes worked only partially, in different contexts. I would call this new generation of consultants «integral consultants»: experts and professionals who take into account the connections between problems and their respective solutions and who embrace the concept of relational anthropology. Such an anthropology «helps the human person to recognize the validity of economic strategies that aim above all to promote the global quality of life that, before the indiscriminate expansion of profits, leads the way toward the integral wellbeing of the entire person and of every person. No profit is in fact legitimate when it falls short of the objective of the integral promotion of the human person, the universal destination of goods, and the preferential option for the poor,» and, we can add, the care of our common home.

My hope is that you can assist organizations to respond to this call. You have the right skills to cooperate in building that necessary bridge between the current economic paradigm – based on excessive consumption and which is experiencing its final phase – and the emerging paradigm centred on inclusion, moderation, care and wellbeing. I encourage you to become «integral consultants» in order to cooperate in reorienting our way of living on this our planet, which we have damaged in terms of both the climate and inequality.

Dear friends, in thanking you for this meeting and expressing my good wishes for your work, I bless you and your families, especially your children, the sick and the elderly, who are our wisdom. And I ask you, please, to pray for me. And if any of you do not pray or believe, at least wish me well. I need it! Thank you.


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Feast Day of Padre Pio 2022: Cardinal O’Malley Blessed Three Sculptures at the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina

(ZENIT News / San Giovanni Rotondo, 23.09.2022).- “May art open doors, touch hearts and help to move forward,” said Pope Francis at the beginning of September in a private meeting with artists participating in the “Primer Vitae Summit” at the Vatican.

On the feast day of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, better known as Padre Pio, these words of the Supreme Pontiff take on a special meaning: as of yesterday, three bronze sculptures depicting the Capuchin friar, famous for his miraculous gifts and for the stigmata on his hands, feet and side, will be placed in the shrine of St. Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy. The works of artist Timothy Schmalz were donated to the Padre Pio Foundation of America and the Shrine of St. Pio.

Timothy is a Canadian renowned artist in the religious sculptures field -famous works include Homeless Jesus and Angels Unawares. His pieces have been installed all around the world in churches, shrines and multiple religious sites, thanks to donations from several benefactors and sponsors.

This is a great year for devotions to the Capuchin friar, with his recent film just released: Padre Pio, starring Shia LaBeouf, premiered on 2 September 2022 in competition in the Giornate Degli Autori section of the 2022 Venice International Film Festival, where it received a four-minute ovation.

Cardinal O’Malley: Blessing of the Sculptures and Mass
The American Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston (US), presided today the Mass for the feast day of Padre Pio in the presence of the authorities of the sanctuary, friars, priests and faithful who came to gather in prayer. The Mass took place in the church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, where the sculptures were blessed at the end.

In his homily, Cardinal O’Malley, also a Capuchin friar like Padre Pio, elaborated about the saint’s feast day: “Padre Pio carried the burden of the stigmata for five decades, this and so many other physical sufferings were borne with love and patience. In a world where pain is seen as the greatest evil, Padre Pio shows us the power of the cross. When the cross is born with love and in union with Jesus it is life-giving and leads to resurrection.”

Meanwhile yesterday, Msgr. Franco Moscone, Archbishop of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, blessed one of the sculptures in the Sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel, Monte Sant’Angelo.

“Everything Padre Pio did was a miracle”.

Three sculptures have arrived to the shrine: “Padre Pio fighting a devil” (life size), “Padre Pio with Mary” (life size) and “Padre Pio with Saint Michael” (medium size).

Commenting on his most recent work, sculptor Timothy Schmalz said: “Padre Pio has brought peace and confort to thousands and thousands of people, myself included, for so many years now. And this I consider a miracle, as it is something he continues to gift every day. This was of course inspiring. And also, watching Padre Pio fighting a devil is a way of showing to all those with their own daily struggles that, with the intercession of the saints, victory is possible.”


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Statement of His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin at the UN High-level Meeting

(ZENIT News / Nueva York, 23.09.2022).- On 21 September 2022, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See, issued a statement at the UN High-Level Meeting to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities. As part of a year-long commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Declaration, this High-Level Meeting has been convened in order to assess constraints and achievements, share examples of best practices, and establish future priorities.

The statement was delivered by Monsignor Joseph Grech, an Official at the Secretariat of State.

In his statement, Cardinal Parolin stated that the terms ‘minority’ and ‘majority’ are descriptive labels, and their use must not erode the principle that everyone is equal in dignity and therefore has equal rights. He also noted with grave concern that Christians continue to be the most persecuted group in the world. An estimated 360 million Christians across 76 countries face discrimination, violence, and persecution, whilst other religious minorities suffer similar treatment.

Cardinal Parolin concluded by stating that the protection and promotion of the fundamental human rights of people belonging to national, ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities should be founded on dialogue, mutual cooperation, and reciprocal understanding.

The text of the statement follows.


Statement of His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin
at the UN High-level Meeting to commemorate the
30th anniversary of the adoption of the
Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to
National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities

New York, 21 September 2022

 Mr. President,

The Holy See is pleased to participate in this High-level Meeting marking the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.

When using the terms ‘minority’ and ‘majority’, we should remember that these descriptive labels must not erode the principle on which fundamental human rights and freedoms are based: everyone is equal in dignity and therefore has equal rights. It is therefore crucial to “reject the discriminatory use of the term ‘minorities’ which engenders feelings of isolation and inferiority.”[1] At the same time, the opposite stance of promoting assimilation risks erasing unique national, ethnic, religious, and linguistic characteristics and values, “blurring what is distinctive about origins and backgrounds and turning [people] into a new line of malleable goods.” [2]

Throughout the world, national, ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities share the aspiration to affirm their identity and to live peacefully with others. Therefore, their protection cannot be achieved without respecting certain key principles, namely protection of existence, non-exclusion, non-discrimination, and non-assimilation[3] – such that integration does not become assimilation.

As for religious minorities, the Holy See notes with grave concern that, Christians continue to be the most persecuted group in the world, and not only in countries where they are a minority group. It is estimated that around 360 million Christians across 76 countries face discrimination, violence and persecution because of their faith. Needless to say, other religious minorities suffer similar treatment. This is a clear violation of the fundamental right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. [4]  This also threatens related rights, such as the right to practice religion in public and private, both individually and collectively; the right to own, build, maintain and use religious buildings and property; the right of churches and religious communities to organize themselves according to their own institutional structures; and the right to train, choose and nominate their own clergy.

Mr. President,

The protection and promotion of the fundamental human rights of people belonging to national, ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities should be founded on the “adoption of a culture of dialogue as the path; mutual cooperation as the code of conduct; reciprocal understanding as the method and standard.” [5] Identity and dialogue are not unreconcilable poles. Our own identity “is strengthened and enriched as a result of dialogue with those unlike ourselves. Nor is our authentic identity preserved by an impoverished isolation.” [6]

Thank you, Mr. President.

[1] Pope Francis and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, A Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together.
[2] Pope Francis, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Christus Vivit, 186.
[3] Commentary of the Working Group on Minorities to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.
[4] Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18.
[5] A Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together.
[6] Pope Francis, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Querida Amazonia, 37.


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Italian Cardinal Comes Out in Defense of Cardinal Joseph Zen, Archbishop Emeritus of Hong Kong

(ZENIT News / Rome, 23.09.2022).- In a letter to the Director of the Italian newspaper Avvenire, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher and Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, came out publicly in defense of the Archbishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun who is standing trial for defending human rights in Communist China. No other high-ranking ecclesiastic had spoken openly in defense of Cardinal Zen. 

Here is the translation of this text.

* * *

Insinuated in a trial is the saying: May he who can speak, speak! Not even Jesus eluded this in a trial, which would mark the history and life of a man who awakened admiration and profound religious respect: John the Baptist giving witness of the truth, to which no one is superior, claiming the oneness of the divine law, transposed into the Jewish Tradition. 

Jesus also paid for His testimony to the truth: What is truth? (cf. John 18:38), Pilate asked Him ironically in a dramatic trial in which the Nazarene was accused of violating Rome’s sovereignty and was about to be sentenced to death. The verdict was issued, and Jesus was sentenced to an infamous death; but that trial, never concluded, will never be forgotten while the Gospel is proclaimed on earth. “I am the Truth” (John 14:6), Jesus had proclaimed, but Pilate’s assessment didn’t matter to him, and Pilate washed his hands. 

Another trial is being held these days in Hong Kong, a city I loved a lot, having lived there for over eight years. I met Father Joseph Zen Ze-kiun there. He was the Inspector of the Salesians, and was Chinese to the core – very intelligent, acute, with a winning smile. They said to me, “He is a Shanghainese!” Little by little I understood the meaning of this.

At that time, in additional to being Provincial, he was as Professor of Philosophy and Ethics and was very well regarded. He spoke Italian perfectly, not only the language but his manners were close to European culture, which he learned in European schools as a youth. It was said of him : “He is the most Italian of the Chinese and the most Italian Chinaman.” Here was the synthesis, the meeting of two cultures. 

In reality, he continued being Chinese; he never denied his identity. And I found this very beautiful and fascinating. He represented the prototype of an interculturality that reminded me of Xu Guangqi, a “Christian in the Ming court” (Elisa Giunipero), or, in other senses, the acuteness of Monsignor Aloysius Jin Luxian, a Jesuit, Bishop of Shanghai at the time of Deng Xiaoping and later, who liked to introduce himself as the “Nicodemus of our times.” Both were Shanghainese.

Shanghai was a city of martyrs, at the time of the Nazi occupation, by the Japanese: it was an incredibly sad time, full of violence and destruction, which no one forgets. Cardinal Zen’s family was also a victim of it; they lost all their possessions and had to flee. 

Young Zen never forgot that experience and drew from it consistency of character and lifestyle and, then, great love of freedom and justice. Shanghai was heroic, and her sons were considered heroes, almost untouchable, including by the Communist regime. Cardinal Zen is one of the last descendants of those families. Heroes should never be humiliated; it was also the mentality of the Chinese establishment, as it is in the West for victims of our own Nazi-Fascism.

In the decade of the ‘90s, Joseph Zen taught in several Seminaries of Hong Kong and China (Shanghai, Peking, Xian, Wuhan). He was invited to Shanghai by Bishop Jin Luxian. He accepted for the good of the Church, which rose from its martyrdom and sought the path of survival; this was flexibility, not surrendering. He looked ahead and did not judge people; it was his philosophy of life. Political systems,  –he said– can be judged but not people, and in this regard his thought was clear. Judgment is deferred to Gid, who knows the heart of men.

His respect and support of the person has always been the cornerstone of his human and priestly vision and it continues to be so today, although these days he’s being tried in Hong Kong. His moral integrity and his idealism were regarded as of the highest level when John Paul II appointed him Bishop and Benedict XVI created him Cardinal. Some consider him characteristically somewhat nervous. And who wouldn’t be so in face of injustice and of the need for freedom, which every genuine political and civil system should defend?

I attest to two more things: Cardinal Zen is a “man of God.” Sometimes ill-tempered, but submissive to the love of Christ, who wanted him as His priest, profoundly enamoured, as Don Bosco, of youth. No one, among those I’ve met, can I say was as truly “loyal” as him. 

Testimony is essential in a trial. Cardinal Zen must not be condemned. Hong Kong, China and the Church have in him a devout son, of whom one must not be ashamed. This is a testimony of the truth. 


Translation of the Italian original by ZENIT’s Editorial Director and, into English, by Virginia M. Forrester.