ROME – Pope Francis encouraged Christian business leaders to form “a new alliance” with young people to learn together and create an economy for the common good.
“Today there are hundreds, thousands, millions and perhaps billions of young people struggling to enter the formal economies or even their first paying jobs where they can continue their academic learning, acquired skills, energy and enthusiasm.” , the Pope said on October 21.
“I want to encourage you, mature and successful business leaders and entrepreneurs, to consider a new alliance with the young people who have evolved and committed to such a new alliance,” he said.
The Pope addressed participants at the 27th UNIAPAC World Congress in Rome from October 20-22. UNIAPAC is a Paris-based, ecumenical organization for Christian business people from around the world to promote Christian social values in business and society and to build an economy that serves the dignity of the human person and the common good, according to its website.
The pope encouraged members to create a new economy for the common good that is inclusive and supports holistic human development.
“There is no doubt that our world is in dire need of ‘a different kind of economy: one that brings life, not death, one that is inclusive and not exclusive, humane and not dehumanizing, one that cares for the environment and them not destroyed’,” he said, citing remarks he made in a letter dated May 1, 2019 to young people participating in the “Economy of Francesco,” an international project of young economists and entrepreneurs.
The Pope told UNIAPAC members of the “good news” that came from the recent gathering of young people in Assisi, “where Saint Francis and the early friars embraced poverty and proposed a radical new economy to the business leaders of his day.”
The September 22-24 Economy of Francesco gathering brought together about 1,000 young people who “reflected on the design of a new economy, and then developed and signed a covenant to reform the global economic system to improve the lives of all ‘ the Pope said.
Pope Francis said he wanted to share the outcome of this meeting with them “because young people are too often left out of business and the economy” and “because creativity and new thinking often come from youth”.
“We older people have to be brave enough to stop and listen to them,” he said. “Just as young people need to listen to older people, we all need to listen to young people.”
He said the Assisi youth meeting was proposing a kind of “gospel economy” that embodies:
— an economy of peace and not of war; “Let’s think about how much is spent on making weapons.”
— an economy that cares about creation and does not abuse it, such as through deforestation.
— an economy at the service of the human person, family and life that respects everyone, especially the weakest and most vulnerable, and leaves no one behind.
— an economy where caring replaces rejection and indifference.
— an economy that recognizes and protects safe and decent work for all.
— an economy in which finance is “a friend and ally” of the real economy and work, not an enemy.
Pope Francis encouraged business leaders to be patient with young people because while there are problems, “they have a keen sense of the right path.”
“Please walk with them, teach them and learn from them as you collectively shape a new economy for the common good,” he said.