“Taking care of the common home and having the courage to walk”

The message of Pope Francis at the meeting The Economy of Francis

09 October 2023

From the 6th to the 8th October, the fourth annual meeting of ‘The Economy of Francis’, the community that brings together young economists and entrepreneurs from all over the world, was held live online (and, in person, at the Sanctuary of the Renunciation in Assisi).

To address the issue of the economy in today's world, in his message Pope Francis spoke of coincidentia oppositorum, that is, the unity of opposites, and how theories seek to reconcile and create a synthesis between them. "Big and small, poverty and wealth and many other opposites are also present in the economy. Economy are the stalls of the market, as well as the hubs of international finance [...]. Where is the coincidence between these opposites? It lies in the true nature of the economy: to be a place of inclusion and cooperation, a continuous generation of value to be created and circulated with others. The small needs the great, the concrete needs the abstract, the contract of the gift, the poverty of shared wealth." But in the face of the economy "that kills, that excludes, that pollutes, that produces war," that generates profits "at the expense of the most vulnerable and defenseless," that is "only arrogance, violence, only a predatory order from which to free humanity," the Pontiff proposes "the economy of the earth and the economy of the journey." 

The first meaning of the term economy, "care of the home", brings us back to our Common Home, to the world in which we live, which has been entrusted to us by the Creator: "By the mere fact of being born we are called to become guardians of this Common Home and, therefore, brothers and sisters of every inhabitant of the earth. Applying economy means taking care of our Common Home, and this will not be possible if we do not have eyes trained to see the world starting from the peripheries: the gaze of the excluded, of the least," Pope Francis wrote. 

He continues: "The integral economy is one that is applied with and for the poor - in all the ways in which we are poor to-day - the excluded, the invisible, those who have no voice to make themselves heard." For "economy of the journey", Pope Francis takes up the image of the Poverello-the poor man of Assisi: "When Francis of Assisi, so dear to us, began his revolution, even economic, in the name of the Gospel alone, he became a beggar again, a wanderer: he began to walk, leaving the house of his father Bernardone. What way, then, for those who want to renew the economy from the roots? [...] Just as the pilgrim knows that his journey will be dusty, so you know that the common good requires a commitment that gets your hands dirty. Only dirty hands can change the earth: justice is lived, charity is incarnated and, in solidarity in the face of challenges, we persevere with them with courage." 

The Pontiff concluded his message with a determined and affectionate invitation: "I ask you to remain actively united, building real bridges between continents on operational issues, which will definitively bring humanity out of the colonial era and inequalities. Give faces, content and projects to a universal fraternity. Be pioneers from within the economic and business life of integral human development. I trust you, and never forget: I love you very much.

Read the full text of Pope Francis' message (Italian) 


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