2014-05-08 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) “At this difficult time, when more and more people and families lose their jobs, generating new social inequalities, we need a perspective that opens a new horizon of reality”. This is what Massimo Gattamelata, Secretary General of the Centesimus Annus – Pro Pontifice Foundation, said on the opening day of the international conference underway this week in the Vatican’s New Synod Hall.
The Foundation – which works to promote the Churches’ social teaching in society – are discussing whether solidarity and fraternity can be part of business decisions.
Gattamelata told participants that “this new horizon can be represented by three elements: creativity, community love and practical sense. Creativity, i.e. the ability to discern among diverse available options; community love, i.e. the ability to foster relationships; practical sense, i.e. the ability to transform ideas into concrete activities”.
Pope Francis, in the speech addressed to the Foundation on May 25th, 2013, underlined that: “We have forgotten and are still forgetting that over and above business, logic and the parameters of the market there is the human being and there is something that is due to men and women in as much as they are human beings by virtue of their profound dignity: the possibility of living a dignified life and of actively participating in the common good. Benedict XVI reminded us that precisely because it is human all human activity, including economic activity, must be ethically structured and governed (cf. Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, n. 36). We must return to the centrality of the human being, to a more ethical vision of activities and of human relationships without the fear of losing something.”
These are important thoughts – continues the Secretary General – which prompt us to acknowledge that work can no longer be considered an end to itself, a mere marketable good; we should look at it as an instrument of participation in God’s creative work. “Work is participation in the development of peoples” (Populorum Progressio). It is development of the person who is next to me, and thus linked to the concept of “caring for one’s neighbor” (Solicitudo rei Socialis). The ultimate goal is to improve ourselves through our deeds; this is why work has the transcendental value of resurrection, makes man human (Laborem Excercens). God made us stewards of the world He created and we are called upon to use its resources through work”.
“Looking at our Italian experience – Gattamelata concludes – I would like to quote Don Mario Operti, founder of the Policoro Project: there are no magic formulas to create jobs. We must invest in the intelligence and heart of people. The Policoro Project, born in 1995, represents an important experience of the Italian Church: its goal is to offer a practical answer to the problem of unemployment in Italy, promoting and supporting entrepreneurship among the young”.