“According to the Scriptures, young people are bearers of a spirit of knowledge and intelligence. It was young David who humbled the arrogance of the giant Goliath,” he pointed out.
“Indeed,” he continued, “when civil society and business lack the skills of youth, the entire society atrophies and everyone’s life is wiped out. There is a lack of creativity, optimism, enthusiasm. A society and economy without young people is sad, pessimistic and cynical.”
“I say this with seriousness: I’m counting on you. Please do not leave us undisturbed and set a good example.”
“arm in the middle”
The Pope also reflected on the example of St. Francis of Assisi and what it means to help the marginalized. “Developing an economy inspired by [Saint Francis] means working to put the poor first,” he said.
“Starting with them, let’s look at the economy; Starting with them, we look at the world,” he noted. “There is no ‘Economy of Francesco’ without respect, care and love for the poor, for every poor person, for every fragile and vulnerable person – from the conception in the womb to the sick person with disabilities to the elderly person in difficulty. ”
“As long as our system ‘produces’ discarded people and we work according to this system, we will be accomplices in an economy that kills,” he stressed, urging young economists to ask themselves whether they are doing enough to change structures or not if they are content with just slapping a coat of paint on the house.
“Perhaps our response should not be based on how much we can do, but on how we are able to open new avenues so that the poor themselves can become agents of change,” he said.
He concluded his address with a prayer to God the Father, asking “forgiveness for damaging the earth, for not respecting indigenous cultures, for not appreciating and loving the poorest of the poor, for finding wealth without… created community”.
“Living God, who with Your Spirit inspired the hearts, hands, and minds of these young people and sent them on a journey to a promised land, be kind to their generosity, love, and desire to devote their lives to a great ideal. Bless them in their ventures, studies and dreams; accompany them in their difficulties and sufferings, help them to transform their difficulties and sufferings into virtue and wisdom,” he prayed.
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Economy of the Francesco Pact
At the end of the meeting, Pope Francis signed a pact with the participants to promote an “Economy of the Gospel”.
The full text of the pact is below:
We, young economists, entrepreneurs and change-makers, whom we have called here to Assisi from all parts of the world, aware of the responsibility that rests on our generation, we commit ourselves today, individually and collectively, to give our lives to ensure that the economy of today and tomorrow becomes an economy of the gospel, and therefore:
an economy of peace and not of war, an economy that opposes the proliferation of weapons, especially the most destructive ones, an economy that takes care of creation and does not abuse it, an economy at the service of the human person, the family and the life, respectful of every woman, man and child, the elderly and especially the most frail and vulnerable, an economy where caring replaces rejection and indifference, an economy that leaves no one behind to build a society where the stones the prevailing mentality will become cornerstones, an economy that recognizes and protects safe and decent work for all, an economy in which finance is a friend and ally of the real economy and work, not against it, an economy that values and protects the cultures and traditions of peoples, of all living beings and of the earth’s natural resources, an economy that fights poverty in all its forms, reduces inequality and knows how to say with Jesus and Francis: “Blessed are the poor”, an economy guided by an ethics of the human person and open for transcendence, an economy that creates prosperity for all, that produces joy and not just wealth, for happiness that is not shared is incomplete.