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Money is not the goal, Pope tells business executives

November 17, 2016

“Businesses should not exist to make money,” Pope Francis told an audience of business executives at the Vatican on November 17. “Businesses exist to serve.”

The Pope laid out three themes in an address to participants in a conference on how business leaders can promote social and economic inclusion. He spoke on the proper role of money, the importance of honesty, and the need for solidarity.

Regarding money, the Pope repeated his own phrase that it is “the dung of the devil.” He rejected the idea that money is a neutral tool of exchange. “When one affirms the neutrality of money, they fall into its power,” he said. He decried the fact that in capital markets, those with the most wealth find it easiest to obtain credit, while those in the greatest need are often at the mercy of lenders.

Honesty, the Pope continued, is essential to civil life. “Corruption is the worst social plague,” he said. Corruption, he added, is an indication of idol-worship: the worship of money.

On solidarity, the Pope said that just relationships between workers and managers “should be respected and required by all parties.” He made a point of saying that solidarity calls for the acceptance of immigration as “an important factor of development.”

 
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  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Nov. 20, 2016 7:57 PM ET USA

    How about the master who gave his servants the talents to manage when he went on a trip? Didn't he expect more money, more profit, on his return and punished the servant who did not at least give his money to the bankers, so it could earn interest? This simple knowledge about the point of business, that it is meant to earn a profit, was appreciated at the time of Jesus, but has somehow been forgotten by our Church leaders. Besides if money is dung, maybe we should not send dung to Peter's Pence.

  • Posted by: garedawg - Nov. 18, 2016 9:31 AM ET USA

    Like someone else I know, the Holy Father tends to speak using hyperbole. Next you know, he'll be telling us to pluck out our right eyes if they cause us to sin.

  • Posted by: Louise01 - Nov. 17, 2016 11:43 PM ET USA

    That's communist theology

  • Posted by: BCLX - Nov. 17, 2016 6:59 PM ET USA

    Unfortunately the Holy Father's comments omit a crucial component of need. One of the duties of business managers is to produce a return for the owners of the capital that permits the business to operate in the first place. So they have to be "served" in a way no less appropriate to their role than any other principal category of stakeholder.