Pope Francis is in Assisi for the “Economy of Francis” international conference to meet and hear from young economists and entrepreneurs from around the world. The Pope urged them to put their ideals into concrete actions.
(Vatican News Network) Pope Francis went to Assisi on the morning of September 24 to attend the international conference on “The Economy of Francis”. He wrote to young economists and entrepreneurs three years ago in 2019, inviting them to participate in the “Economy of Francis” program. This time, young people from more than 100 countries participated in this first live meeting with a common goal.
Several young entrepreneurs testified at the scene, followed by a speech by the Pope. He first admitted that the new generation of people today is in a period of crisis in the environment, epidemics and wars, and adults have failed to “protect the earth and protect peace”. The common home “is crumbling”. Therefore, a new economy inspired by the Franciscans of Asia and West can and must today be an economy of friendship with the earth and an economy of peace.
Such an economy, the Pope said, has a prophetic value in itself, “a characteristic of Francis of Assisi throughout his life after his conversion”. In the Bible, “prophecy is associated with youth,” such as Samuel, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, as well as Daniel. The youth of the Bible “are bearers of the spirit of science and wisdom.”
“In fact, when civic groups and businesses lack the talents of young people, entire societies wither and people’s lives are extinguished. There is no creativity, no optimism, no enthusiasm, no courage to take risks. A society without youth And the economy is pathetic, pessimistic, and cynical. But thank God, you are here: you are not only tomorrow, but today; you are not only “yet”, you are “already”, you are now.”
Referring to “The Economy of Plants”, the theme of “The Economy of Francis” for this year’s reflection, the Pope pointed out that “the Bible is full of trees and plants, from the tree of life to mustard seeds… for the past two centuries. In the midst of this, our human development has come at the expense of the planet. The planet has paid the bill. We often plunder it to increase our own well-being, but not the well-being of all.”
“Quick and decisive change is needed,” the Pope said. “I say this seriously: I count on you”. He then goes on to talk about how environmental sustainability is linked to social, interpersonal, and spiritual sustainability. In fact, “the earth and the poor cry out the same cry” (cf. Encyclical Laudato d’Or, No. 49).
“We cannot ignore the suffering men and women as we seek to save the planet. The pollution that kills is not just carbon dioxide, inequality is also a deadly pollution to our planet.”
Moving on to the subject of human relationships, the Pope noted that, especially in Western countries, these “are becoming barren”, with groups and families increasingly fragmented. “Loneliness is a big problem of our time”, and consumerism takes advantage of it, trying to erase the spiritual dimension inherent in human beings with its products. “The vulnerability of many youth stems from a lack of this precious spiritual capital: an intangible but more real capital than finance or technology“.
The Pope returns to the source of inspiration for the “Economy of Francis,” the saint of Assisi who chose the poor and the poor. The Pope said that it was not enough to “work for or with the poor” and that “new paths should be opened so that the poor themselves are the protagonists of change”. St. Francis not only loved the poor, but never despised their poverty. We are “willing to help the poor, but not respecting them, not understanding the true meaning of the phrase ‘the poor are blessed'”.
Having said this, the Pope pointed out three points for these young men and women entrepreneurs in front of him. First, “see the world through the eyes of the poorest” and imagine what “the vision of the victims and the discarded” is. The Pope said, “In order to have the eyes of the poor and the victims, you need to know them and be their friends. If you become friends with the poor and share their lives, you also share something of the kingdom of God, because Jesus Christ Said that the kingdom of heaven is theirs, and therefore they are blessed.”
Second point, don’t forget the opportunity to “create jobs, good jobs” and don’t forget workers. The third point is to be specific. Ideals, aspirations, and values must be translated into concrete actions that require the use of both hands in addition to the mind and brain. The Pope said: “Ideals are necessary, but if they are not concretely implemented, they will become traps. The Church has always resisted the temptation of epistemology, which holds that it is enough to change the world with different knowledge, without the need for specific efforts. toil”.
Finally, the Pope concluded his meeting with young men and women economists and entrepreneurs from around the world with a prayer. He first asked the Father to “forgive us for our actions that seriously hurt the land and did not respect the indigenous culture”, and then asked God to bless the youth “for their businesses, their studies and their dreams,” to accompany them through difficult times, and to “give them the The joy of changing the world with your love, talent and hands.”
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