Pope Francis addressed 7000 members of the Union of Italian Christian Business Executives in the Paul VI hall this morning (Saturday), and told them that companies can become places of holiness. The Union brings together Catholic entrepreneurs who set themselves the goal of being the architects for the development of the common good. He told them their emphasis on Christian formation and training, mainly through the deepening of the social teaching of the Church, was a noble work. He also spoke about the importance of having the right balance between work and family life.
The Pope noted how a company and the executive office of companies can become places of holiness, by the commitment of everyone to build fraternal relations between entrepreneurs, managers and workers, encouraging co-responsibility and collaboration in the common interest.
The Holy Father also noted that the call to be missionaries of the social dimension of the Gospel in the difficult and complex world of labour, economics and business, involved being open and close to diverse situations such as poverty.
Speaking off the cuff, the Pope spoke about women in the workplace and the challenges they can face. Giving one example to applause, he said, "how many times has a women gone to her boss and said I am pregnant and at the end of the month she is let go".
Pope Francis stressed that increasing the praiseworthy concrete works of sharing and solidarity that the executives support in various parts of Italy, would be a way for them to put into practice the grace of the upcoming Jubilee of Mercy.
The Pope went on to say that it was necessary to direct economic activity in the evangelical sense, that is at the service of the person and the common good. In this perspective, he said "you are called to cooperate in order to grow an entrepreneurial spirit of subsidiarity, to deal with the ethical challenges of the market and, above all the challenge of creating good employment opportunities."
The Holy Father concluded by urging them to engage together for this purpose telling those gathered that it would bear fruit," to the extent that the Gospel is alive and present in your hearts, in your mind and in your actions."
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