Church social teaching needed to fight greed and injustice, says Pope


By Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic Press Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – With many people around the world facing exclusion and inequality, the social teaching of the Catholic Church can inspire new economic systems that are more “people-centered,” said Pope Francis.

Christians must not “remain indifferent” to those affected by an “economic system which continues to lay waste to people’s lives in the name of the god of money, fostering greed and destructive attitudes towards the earth’s resources and fueling various forms of injustice, ”the Pope said on October 23.

“Our response to injustice and exploitation must be more than just condemnation,” he said. “First and foremost, it must be the active promotion of the good: the condemnation of what is wrong, but the promotion of what is good. “

The Pope addressed the participants of an international conference sponsored by the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation. The two-day conference focused on “Solidarity, cooperation and responsibility: antidotes to fight injustices, inequalities and exclusions”.

Created in 1993, the foundation seeks to promote the teaching of the 1991 encyclical of Saint John Paul II on social and economic justice.

Pope Francis praised the foundation for its “commitment to fund studies and research by young people on new models of economic and social development inspired by the social doctrine of the Church”.

“This is important and much needed: in a soil contaminated by the predominance of finance, we must sow many small seeds that can bear fruit in a fair and beneficial economy, humane and human-centered. We need possibilities capable of becoming realities, and realities capable of offering hope. It means putting the social teaching of the church into practice, ”he said.

Reflecting on the theme of the conference, the Pope said that solidarity, cooperation and responsibility represent the “three pillars of the Church’s social teaching”, which places the human person at the center of “social order, economic and political ”.

Rather than an individualistic view of the world, the teaching of the church is based on the word of God which “seeks to promote integral human development on the basis of our faith in God who became man”.

“In all areas of life, today more than ever, we are required to show our concern for others, not to think only of ourselves, and to engage freely in the development of a more fair and equitable where forms of selfishness and partisan interests do not prevail, ”the Pope said.

Pope Francis said Christians should be inspired by the teachings of Jesus and care for others with a “love that transcends boundaries and limits”, testifying that “it is possible to overcome the walls of selfishness and of personal and national interest “.

“We can be ‘brothers and sisters of all’, and therefore we can and should think and work as ‘brothers and sisters of all’,” he said. “It may sound like an unrealistic utopia. But we prefer to believe that it is a dream that can come true. For it is the dream of the Triune God. With its help, it is a dream that can begin to come true, also in our world.

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