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Cardinal Turkson: Pope is not anti-business, but calls leaders to deeper responsibility

January 11, 2016

In an address delivered at the University of the Andes in Chile, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said that Pope Francis is challenging business leaders to deepen their sense of responsibility for the poor and for creation.

“When he speaks to the business community, Pope Francis encourages a broadened sense of vocation, which gives rise to a deepened exercise of responsibility,” Cardinal Peter Turkson said on January 6.

“Two years ago, he wrote these words to the World Economic Forum: ‘Business is-- in fact-- a vocation, and a noble vocation, provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life,’” he continued. “These are scarcely the words of someone who misunderstands or disparages business, as some would have you believe.”

“The Holy Father is not anti-business; he decries an obsession with profit and the deification of the market,” Cardinal Turkson added as he reflected on the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’s “Vocation of the Business Leader” (2012) and the papal encyclical Laudato Si’ (2015). “But when it comes to the challenges of sustainable development, he calls upon business to lead by harnessing its creativity to solve pressing human needs. And this does not mean forsaking the profit motive.”

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