CHRISTIAN VALUES INDISPENSABLE IN WORLD OF BUSINESS
VATICAN CITY, MAR 4, 2006 (VIS = Vatican Information Service) - In the Paul VI Hall today, Benedict XVI received 8,000 members of the UCID ("Unione Cristiana Imprenditori Dirigenti" or Christian Union of Entrepreneurs and Managers), the statutes of which have the approval of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
In his address to them, the Holy Father praised their express intent "to tend towards an ethic that goes beyond a simple professional code of conduct" which, he added, made him think of the relationship between justice and charity, one of the themes of his recent Encyclical "Deus caritas est."
"Christians are called always to seek justice, yet they carry in themselves the impulse of love, which even goes beyond justice. The road travelled by lay Christians from the middle of the nineteenth century to today, has brought them to an awareness that works of charity must not substitute the commitment to social justice. The Church's social doctrine, and above all the activity of so many Christian-inspired groups such as your own, show just how far the ecclesial community has travelled in this matter."
In this context, the Pope recalled the publication two years ago of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, prepared by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. It is, he said, "an educational instrument, extremely useful for all those people who aim to allow themselves be guided by the Gospel in their working and professional lives." And he went on to express the hope that "it may become a constant point of reference" for the members of the UCID in drawing up projects and seeking solutions to the "complex problems of the world of work and the economy," an area that represents their "road to sanctification."
With reference to the "Charter of Values" of the youth members of the UCID, the Holy Father commended "the positive spirit of faith in the human person" that animates the document, and the fact that its declaration of principles is backed up by a positive commitment to put them into practice.
"I particularly appreciated," said the Holy Father, "the stated aim of valuing all individuals for what each of them is or can give, according to their talents, while avoiding all forms of exploitation; as well as the recognition of the importance of the family and of personal responsibility. Unfortunately such values, also thanks to current economic difficulties, often risk not being followed by those business people who lack solid moral inspiration. For this reason, the contribution of those who draw from their own Christian formation is indispensable."
Benedict XVI concluded by calling on the members of the UCID to draw inspiration from St. Joseph, patron saint of workers, both "in your daily tasks, ... and in your tenacious search for God's justice in human affairs."
AC/CHRISTIAN BUSINESS PEOPLE/UCID VIS 060306 (480)