VATICAN CITY, 13 JUN 2009 (VIS) - At midday today the Holy Father received members of the "Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice" Foundation, at the end of their annual general meeting.
This year, said the Pope, "our meeting has particular significance and importance in the light of the situation that all humankind is currently experiencing. In fact, the financial and economic crisis which has hit industrialised, emerging and developing States clearly indicates the need to reconsider certain economic-financial paradigms that have dominated over the last few years".
The Holy Father praised the efforts made by the Foundation "to identify what values and rules the economic world should follow in order to implement a new development model, one more attentive to the needs of solidarity and more respectful of human dignity".
He made particular reference to the Foundation's examination of "the interdependence between institutions, society and the market on the basis of the idea (in keeping with John Paul II's Encyclical 'Centesimus Annus') that the market economy - understood as 'an economic system which recognises the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector' - may be recognised as a means to achieve social and economic progress only if oriented towards the common good".
Yet such a view, warned Benedict XVI, "must be accompanied by another reflection: that freedom in the economic sector must be 'circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality", a responsible freedom 'the core of which is ethical and religious'".
The Pope then expressed to his audience the hope that their work, "drawing inspiration from the eternal principles of the Gospel, may lead to a vision of the modern economy respectful of the needs and rights of the weakest.
"As you know", he added in conclusion, "my Encyclical dedicated to the vast area of the economy and work will soon be published. It will highlight what, for us as Christians, are the objectives that need to be pursued and what values to be tirelessly promoted and defended in order to create a truly free and united form of human coexistence".
AC/.../CENTESIMUS ANNUS VIS 20090615 (390)