By Ann Schneible
Pope Francis Saturday met with members of Italy’s largest credit union, encouraging them to promote an economy that is rooted in honesty, and to promote a “globalization of solidarity.”
“Concern yourself with the relationship between economy and social justice, keeping the dignity and value of the person at the center,” the pontiff said to representatives of the Banca di Credito Cooperativo (BCC) of Rome.
“Increase the economy of honesty. You are asked not only to be honest – this is normal – but to diffuse honesty,” and help it take root in all areas.
Pope Francis met with BCC managers, employees, and their families in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall on Sept. 12.
Having met with the members of the credit union earlier in the year, the Pope reiterated his call for the group to promote of social justice, be attentive to youth unemployment, to support families, and to encourage an economy of honesty.
The pontiff also encouraged them to promote new enterprises, find new solutions to welfare in the area of healthcare, and to take part in globalization, in order that it may become a “globalization of solidarity.”
In addition to promoting growth and prudent management of the banking cooperative prudently, what is more important is that managers “seek to humanize the economy, (and) unite efficiency with solidarity,” he said.
Pope Francis went on to address the concept of “subsidiarity” within the Church’s social doctrine, saying that credit unions practice this concept in the way they confront crises, relying on their own resources rather than on social institutions.
“This is subsidiarity: to not put weight on institutions, and therefore on the country, when one can confront problems with ones own strength, with responsibility,” the Pope said. “This is not only because, as one says, union makes strength, but because there is the need to think bigger, to broaden the horizons.”
The BCC, he said, offers the possibility of a network whereby the companies can be started, thus creating jobs needed “to support families, to undergo microcredit, and other means of humanizing the economy.
The Pope concluded his address by encouraging those present to continue with “coherence and joy” as they work toward the common good.