Pope: cooperation is a way to show the closeness that Jesus taught us

"It is a strong sign of hope when the social doctrine of the Church does not remain as a dead word or an abstract discourse, but rather becomes living thanks to men and women of good will, who give it flesh and concreteness, transforming it into personal and social gestures, concrete, visible and useful".


Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Cooperatives inspired by the social doctrine of the Church are, according to Pope Francis, “is another way of discerning the proximity that Jesus taught in the Gospel ". "  it is solidarity to commit yourself to giving equally paid work to all; enabling the farmers made more fragile by the market to be part of a community that strengthens them and supports them; a solitary fisherman to join a group of colleagues; a porter to be part of a team, and so on. In this way, cooperating becomes a way of life. So: cooperating is a style of life. “I live, but alone, I do my own thing and go ahead...”. It is a way of living, a lifestyle. The other, instead, is: “I live with others, in cooperation”. It is another style of life, and we choose this. ".

These are concepts that Francis highlighted today, receiving the Confederation of Italian Cooperatives, founded a hundred years ago, in the wake of the social encyclical Rerum novarum of Leo XIII, from 1891. Francis underlined the importance of the centenary, “a goal that cannot pass over in silence ", and remembered the intuition of Pope Pecci" flourished on the conviction that the Gospel may not be relegated only to a part of man or of society, but rather speaks to all man, to make him ever more human. ".

"It is a strong sign of hope when the social doctrine of the Church does not remain as a dead word or an abstract discourse, but rather becomes living thanks to men and women of good will, who give it flesh and concreteness, transforming it into personal and social gestures, concrete, visible and useful". The cooperative model whose aim is "the balanced and proportionate satisfaction of social needs" by combining the logic of the company with that of solidarity with the members and towards the outside, thus expresses "its prophetic function and social witness to the light of the Gospel ".

It is about "opposing the relation to individualism, the team to the interest, the well-being of all to the interests of a few"; work to become "charity entrepreneurs"; look for alternative ways "to inhabit a society that is not governed by the god of money, an idol that deceives it and then leaves it more and more inhuman and unjust".

" But the most important and obvious advantage of cooperation is defeating the loneliness that turns life into hell. When man feels alone, he experiences hell. When, on the other hand, he is aware that he is not abandoned, then he can face any kind of difficulty or hardship. And we see this in the worst moments. In this way, as your president recalled that in a cooperative “one plus one makes three”, it is also necessary to remember that in bad moments, one plus one makes a half. In this way [cooperation] ensures that bad things can be made better. Our world is sick as a result of loneliness – we all know this – and this is why it needs initiatives that allow it to face together with others what life imposes. By walking and working together we experience the great miracle of hope: everything seems possible again. In this sense, cooperation is a way of making hope real in people’s lives”.

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