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The Holy Father warns against the danger that a culture of prosperity numbs people, rendering them insensitive to the problems of others, and reiterates that business activity is a noble vocation directed towards the production of wealth and the improvement of the world for all, when it is understood as a service to the common good.
Diminished opportunities for useful and dignified employment, combined with a reduction in so-cial security, are causing a disturbing rise in inequality and poverty in different countries. Clearly there is a need to create new models of doing business which, while promoting the development of advanced technologies, are also capable of using them to create dignified work for all, to up-hold and consolidate social rights, and to protect the environment. Man must guide technological development, without letting himself be dominated by it”.
“To all of you I appeal once more: ‘Do not forget the poor!’ This is the primary challenge before you as leaders in the business world. Those who have the means to enjoy a decent life, rather than being concerned with privileges, must seek to help those poorer than themselves to attain digni-fied living conditions, particularly through the development of their human, cultural, economic and social potential. We must never allow the culture of prosperity to deaden us, to make us inca-pable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and sens-ing the need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. Weeping for other people’s pain does not only mean sharing in their sufferings, but also and above all realizing that our own actions are a cause of injustice and inequality. Let us open our eyes, then, and see the misery of the world, the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity, and let us recognize that we are compelled to heed their cry for help. May we reach out to them and support them so they can feel the warmth of our presence, our friendship, and our fraternity. May their cry become our own, and together may we break down the barriers of indif-ference that too often reign supreme and mask our hypocrisy and egoism”.
Once we realize this, he continues, “we become more fully human, since responsibility for our brothers and sisters is an essential part of our common humanity. Do not be afraid to open your minds and hearts to the poor. In this way, you will give free rein to your economic and technical talents, and discover the happiness of a full life, which consumerism of itself cannot provide.
Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving our world, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good. As such, it has a responsibility to help overcome the complex crisis of society and the environment, and to fight.