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Business can play role in tackling crises globally, pope says

Pope Francis has challenged consultancy networks to use their power to remedy economic, environmental and social crises
Pope Francis with participants of an encounter with Deloitte Global

Pope Francis with participants of an encounter with Deloitte Global. (Photo: Vatican Media)

Published: September 23, 2022 05:24 AM GMT
Updated: September 23, 2022 05:27 AM GMT

Financial consultants, managers and experienced professionals can help remedy today's economic, environmental and social crises, and help create a more humane, just and fraternal world, Pope Francis said.

"You have the right skills to cooperate in building that necessary bridge between the current economic paradigm -- based on excessive consumption and which is experiencing its final phase -- and the emerging paradigm centered on inclusion, moderation, care and well-being," he told professionals attending a meeting hosted by Deloitte Global.

"I encourage you to become 'integral consultants' in order to cooperate in reorienting our way of living on our planet, which we have damaged in terms of both the climate and inequality," the pope said Sept. 22.

Deloitte Global is a worldwide network of independent firms, which together represent approximately 330,000 professionals providing financial, accounting and strategic advice and assistance to businesses and clients.

Pope Francis reminded them how "the world is suffering from worsening environmental conditions," and many people still "live in an undignified manner due to a lack of nutrition, health, education and other fundamental rights."

The world is globalized and interconnected, he said, and yet, "poverty, injustice and inequalities remain."

"In what ways, then, can consultants, managers and experienced professionals help in reversing or at least correcting this situation? How are they to organize their work in order to strive for a more humane, just and fraternal world?" he asked them.

Pope Francis said they must become "integral consultants."

This new breed of consultants, he said, is made up of "experts and professionals who take into account the connections between problems and their respective solutions," and they believe in promoting integral human development.

They see "the validity of economic strategies that aim above all to promote the global quality of life that, before the indiscriminate expansion of profits, leads the way toward the integral well-being of the entire person and of every person," the pope said, quoting the document, "Considerations for an ethical discernment regarding some aspects of the present economic financial system," published jointly by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in 2018.

"No profit is in fact legitimate when it falls short of the objective of the integral promotion of the human person, the universal destination of goods and the preferential option for the poor," he said, continuing the citation, "and, we can add, the care of our common home."

"You can leave a mark," Pope Francis told members of the global network; just make sure that "your mark is positive and moves toward integral human development."

"Your knowledge, experiences, skills and vast network of relationships constitute an immense 'nonmaterial fund' that can help entrepreneurs, bankers, managers and public administrators to understand their situations, to imagine the future and to make decisions," the pope said.

As they "guide choices, influence criteria and evaluate priorities for companies, universities, supranational bodies, national and local governments, and decision makers at the political level," he said, members of Deloitte Global "are well aware of your 'power.'"

"This should be accompanied constantly by the desire to direct your analysis and proposals toward choices consistent with the paradigm of integral ecology," he said, which, essentially, is asking, "What kind of world do we want to leave for our children and grandchildren?"

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