Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The financial crisis that has affected the entire world can be a good opportunity to rethink the development model, making it more attentive to the needs of the whole human family and not aimed only at the logic of profit. The crisis itself, in fact, has shown that in a market beset by bankruptcies, those economic actors are able to adhere to a moral behaviour and attentive to the needs of their area, have survived".
The Church's social doctrine, as expressed most recently in Caritas in Veritate, was recalled today by Benedict XVI, who took the opportunity of his meeting with members of the Union of Industrialists and Enterprises in Rome to highlight a few points, particularly the role of the entrepreneur and company ethics.
"In the Social Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate - he said - I noticed that we come from a stage of development in which priority was given to the material and technical rather than the ethical and spiritual, and I urged that the person, which Christ reveals in his most profound dignity, be placed at the centre of economics and finance (cf. No. 25). Also proposing that politics is not subject to financial mechanisms, I called for reform and the establishment of legal systems and international policies (cf. No. 67), commensurate with the global structures of the economy and finance, to achieve the common good of the human family more effectively. Following in the footsteps of my predecessors, I reiterated that the increase in unemployment, especially among young people, the economic impoverishment of many workers and the mergence of new forms of slavery, requires as a priority, access to decent work for all (cf. nos. 32 and 63).
"Everyone knows how many sacrifices are needed to open or keep a business on the market, as a ‘community of people' that produces goods and services and that, therefore, does not have profit as its sole purpose, however, necessary." In the Community approach, therefore, "it is important to know how to overcome that selfish and materialistic mentality, which suggests to divert investment from the real economy to privilege its use on the financial markets, with a view to making an easier and faster profit. Let me remind you that the safer paths to counter the decline of the business system in the local territory is to instead become involved in the reality of your local social network, in research and innovation, not by practicing unfair competition between companies, not by forgetting your social duties but rather by stimulating a productivity of quality to meet the real needs of people. There is proof that the health of a company depends on its attention to all the subjects with which it has to develop relationships, from the ethical value of its project and its activities. "
Entrepreneurs attentive to the common good are required to see their activities as part of an always plural whole. This approach generates, through personal dedication and fraternity reflected in their economic and financial decisions, more competitive and more civilized markets, animated by the spirit of service. It is clear that such an enterprise requires some logical reasons, a certain vision of man and life, a humanism, that arises from the awareness of being called as individuals and communities to be part of the one family of God, who created us in His image and likeness and redeemed us in Christ, a humanism that revives love and that is guided by truth, a humanism open to God and for that reason open to man and life understood as a shared and joyful responsibility (cf. n. 78). Development, in any field of human existence also implies openness to the transcendent, the spiritual dimension of life, trust in God, love, brotherhood, hospitality, justice and peace (cf. No. 79).