Good to make a profit, Benedict agrees
Catholic social teaching recognises profit as the "primary indicator" of the good functioning of a business, Pope Benedict told a meeting of young Italian entrepreneurs this week, adding that human life must always be the "final aim" of the economy.
Vatican Information Service reports that Pope was addressing a meeting promoted by Young Entrepreneurs of Confindustria (the General Confederation of Italian Industry).
The pope opened his address by affirming that "all business enterprises are to be considered primarily as groups of people, whose rights and dignity must be respected."
"Human life, and the values of human life, must always be the foundation and the final aim of the economy," the pope said.
Pope Benedict described "profit as the primary indicator of the good functioning of a firm," pointing out how "the social Magisterium of the Church recognises its importance, at the same time underlining the need to safeguard the dignity of the people who, in one way or another, work for a company."
"It is necessary," he continued, "for working activity to become once again an area in which people can realise their potential and make the most of their individual capacities and genius. And it depends upon you, dear business people, to create the most favourable conditions to bring this about."
Pope Benedict called on the young entrepreneurs to do everything possible "to safeguard jobs, especially among the young".
"In order to build the future with hope, young people must be able to rely on a reliable source of income for themselves and their loved ones," the pope said.
Over the years, he said, apart from reflecting upon "the centrality of mankind to the economy," the entrepreneurs have also considered the question of "the family in Italian industry." In this context, he remarked, "working in favour of families means contributing to a renewal of society and ensuring the foundations for real economic development."
In closing, the Pope referred to the question of globalisation saying that "if on the one hand it holds out hopes for a more widespread participation in development," on the other "it also presents various risks associated with new aspects of commercial and financial relations, which tend towards an increase in the gap between the economic wealth of the few and the growing poverty of the many.
It is vital, as my venerated predecessor John Paul II so incisively said, 'to ensure a globalisation in solidarity, a globalisation without marginalisation'," Pope Benedict concluded.
Respect workers' dignity and rights (Vatican Information Service, 28/5/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic social teaching (Wikipedia)
Benedict's book slams "plundering" rich countries (CathNews, 5/4/07)
Pope tells business owners: do justice, not just charity (CathNews, 8/3/06)
29 May 2007