POPE Francis says in attempting to build a social model, it is not enough to modernise economic theories or professional techniques and abilities.
Addressing the Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of different religious confessions and civil society in Bucharest on Friday, the Pontiff said every state must aspire for the common good of its people.
“To move forward together, as a way of shaping the future, requires a noble willingness to sacrifice something of one’s own vision or best interest for the sake of a greater project, and thus to create a harmony that makes it possible to advance securely towards shared goals. This is the basis of a society’s nobility,” he said. “This is the path to the building of an inclusive society, one in which everyone shares his or her own gifts and abilities, through quality education and creative, participatory and mutually supportive labour. In this way, all become protagonists of the common good, where the weak, the poor and the least are no longer seen as undesirables that keep the “machine” from functioning, but as citizens and as brothers and sisters to be fully incorporated into the life of society. Indeed, how they are treated is the best indicator of the actual goodness of the social model that one is attempting to build.”
Pope Francis stressed that only to the extent that a society is concerned for its most disadvantaged members can it be considered truly civil.
“This entire process needs to have a heart and soul, and a clear goal to achieve, one imposed not by extrinsic considerations or by the growing power of centres of high finance, but by an awareness of the centrality of the human person and of his or her inalienable rights,” he said. “For a harmonious and sustainable development, the concrete practice of solidarity and charity, and the increased concern of social, civil and political forces for the pursuit of the common good, it is not enough to modernise economic theories, or professional techniques and abilities, however necessary these in themselves may be.”
Pope Francis said it required developing not just material conditions but “the very soul of your people.”
“Because peoples have a soul; they have their own way of perceiving and experiencing reality. To keep going back to its very soul: this is what makes a people progress,” he said. “In this regard, the Christian churches can help to rediscover and strengthen the beating heart that can be the source of a political and social action based on the dignity of the person and leading to commitment to work with fairness and generosity for the overall common good. At the same time, they themselves seek to become a credible reflection of God’s presence and an attractive witness to His works, and, in this way, they grow in authentic mutual friendship and cooperation.”
Pope Francis said that was the path the Catholic Church wished to follow.
“She desires to contribute to the building up of society. She desires to be a sign of harmony in the hope of unity and to be at the service of human dignity and the common good,” said Pope Francis. “She wishes to cooperate with the civil authorities, with the other churches and with all men and women of good will, journeying together with them and placing her specific gifts at the service of the entire community. The Catholic Church is no stranger to this; she shares fully in the spirit of the nation, as is demonstrated by the participation of her faithful in the shaping of the country’s future and in the creation and development of the structures of integral education and forms of charitable assistance suited to a modern state.”