05/26/2018, 17.32
VATICAN
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Pope: ecumenical collaboration for the future of young people and families

Francis meets participants at the annual international conference Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, which was also attended by Patriarch Bartholomew. "Too often a tragic and false dichotomy has developed between the ethical doctrine of our religious traditions and the practical interests of the current business community. But there is a natural circularity between profit and social responsibility ".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The future of young people and families is an activity in which ecumenical collaboration is of special importance in an era in which the "culture of waste, blind to the human dignity of the most vulnerable", grows, Pope Francis underlined this at today's meeting in the Vatican with the participants at the annual international conference of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation.

The ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew I also spoke at the conference and held private talks with Francis.

In his speech, the Pope noted that the "globalization of indifference" is the real challenge that the human family is called to respond to and, drawing a parallel between "the artificial fracture between science and faith," he added: " too often a tragic and false dichotomy has developed between the ethical doctrine of our religious traditions and the practical interests of the current business community. But there is a natural circularity between profit and social responsibility. There is in fact an "indissoluble link [...] between an ethic that respects people and the common good and the real functionality of every economic and financial system".

Commenting on the title of this year's conference, "New policies and new lifestyles in the digital age", the Pope said that one of the most pressing challenges of today is "uncertain job opportunities and the impact of the digital culture revolution ". "As highlighted by the path in preparation for this year's Synod on young people, this is a decisive area in which the Church's solidarity is indeed necessary. Your contribution is a privileged expression of the Church's attention to the future of young people and families ".

An activity in which ecumenical collaboration is of special importance, he underlined, citing how the presence at the Conference of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople is "an eloquent sign of this common responsibility".

For his part, Patriarch Bartholomew in his speech at the conference had affirmed the need for "a common Christian agenda for the common good". "In recent years - he said - we have experienced an immense economic crisis that is connected to the process of globalization and its ensuing implications, the surrender of culture to economy, the increase of poverty, famine and scarcity, and the tragedy of mass migration. We evaluate the so-called “fundamentalism of the market”, the deification of profit, the association of dignity with property, the reduction of the human being to homo oeconomicus and the subordination of the human person to the tyranny of needs, as extremely serious contemporary threats to a culture of solidarity. Society is being transformed into a gigantic market, social achievements are shrinking and the gap between rich and poor is widening". "Extreme economism causes serious economic and ecological problems".

But, he said, "we reject the cynical phrase “There is no alternative”. In other words, we reject the claim that non-conformity to the commandments of globalization and to the “autonomy of the economy”, leads to the expansion of poverty and to uncontrollable societal developments and conflicts. It is unacceptable for the alternative forms of development and the strength of social solidarity and justice to be ignored and slandered. Our Churches can create new possibilities of transformation for our world. In fact, the Church itself is an event of transformation, of sharing, of love and of openness. It is utopic to believe that solidarity and social cohesion can be achieved through globalization and the raising of living standards, or through the internet and communication".

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