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Italian cooperatives receive papal encouragement

CWN - December 12, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI said that the faithful must “ensure that the economy and the market never neglect solidarity,” as he met on December 11 with representatives of Italian cooperatives.

The Pontiff observed that cooperatives have grown in Italy over the past 120 years, since the encyclial Rerum Novarum of Pope Leo XIII encouraged such efforts to find “a balance between safeguarding the rights of the individual and promoting the common good.” By forming cooperatives, the Pope said, workers and producers have been able to further their own aims while helping others. “The purpose of such activity has always been to provide material support for people and constant attention to families, drawing inspiration from the magisterium of the Church,” he said.

The Holy Father encouraged the leaders of the Italian cooperatives to exercise their economic and political influence effectively, “to promote a culture of life and the family, and to favor the creation of new families with access to dignified work which respects the creation that God has entrusted to our responsibility and care."

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