Economy lacking ethics leads to ‘throwaway’ culture, Pope Francis says

An economic system lacking any ethics leads to a “throwaway” culture of consumption and waste, Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, has said. “An economic system that is fair, trustworthy and capable of addressing the most profound challenges facing humanity and our planet is urgently needed,” he said in a speech addressed to members of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism during an audience at the Vatican recently.“A glance at recent history, in parti cular the financial crisis of 2008, shows us that a healthy economic system cannot be based on short-term profit at the expense of long-term productive, sustainable and socially responsible development and investment,” the pope said. Business is a noble vocation as it creates jobs and prosperity and can improve the world, he said. However, “authentic development cannot be restricted to economic growth alone but must foster the growth of each person and of the whole person.” “This means more than balancing budgets, improving infrastructures or offering a wider variety of consumer goods,” he said. It also includes “a renewal, purification and strengthening of solid economic models based on our own personal conversion and generosity to those in need.”
An economic system that is completely detached from ethical concerns does not create “a more just social order but leads instead to a ‘throwaway’ culture of consumption and waste,” the pope said. “On the other hand,” the pope explained, “when we recognize the moral dimension of economic life […] we are able to act with fraternal charity, desiring, seeking and protecting the good of others and their integral development.” “In the end, it is not simply a matter of ‘having more,’ but ‘being more,’” which demands “a fundamental renewal of hearts and minds so that the human person may always be placed at the center of social, cultural and economic life.”

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