Papa Francesco in Assisi: for an economy at the service of the person

Al via ad Assisi the third edition of "L'economia di Francesco", a reflection on the challenges of sustainable development today.

Antonino Piccione-October 18, 2022-Reading time: 5 minutes
Francisco's economy

Testo originale del articolo in inglese qui

Rethink the economic paradigms of our time to achieve social equity, protect the dignity of workers and contribute to the safeguarding of the planet. An economy "with a soul" that will be pursued thanks to the courageous commitment and intelligent passion of thousands of young people, among economists and entrepreneurs, gathered yesterday in Assisi for the third edition of "The Economy with a Soul".Francesco's economy"(EoF is the acronym in English).

The city of San Francesco has been organized into 12 "villages" to host the work of the three days of the Holy Father, focusing on the following themes: work and care; management and gift; finances and humanity; agriculture and justice; energy and poverty; profit and vocation; policies for happiness; CO2 from dissatisfaction; entrepreneurship and peace; the economy is a gift; companies in transition; life and lifestyles.

First day on site

In 2020 the first edition of EoF will be held entirely online, with direct and streaming collaborations with members and speakers, and a video message from Pope Francis. In 2021 the formula remains unchanged, with the young people connected from all five continents and a new video message from the Pope.

However, "L'economia di Francesco" has inspired hundreds of initiatives in these two years and has generated much reflection and action in many countries around the world.

According to the organizers, the faccia a faccia planned for this year in Assisi will allow to synthesize the work carried out in recent years. "Thanks to St. Francis and the Holy Father, a worldwide movement of young people who already represent a force of thought and economic practice was born: we were surprised, in terms of quality and quantity, by their participation in these months", says Luigino Bruni, scientific director of the event.

"Cari giovani, benvenuti! Vi accolgo con il saluto di san Francesco: il Signore vi dia pace! Siete finalmente ad Assisi: per riflettere, per incontrare il Papa, per immergervi nella città. Assisi appreciates its treasures. It offers many opportunities. You can learn from Francis the secret of a new economy. You will discover it in many passages of his life. You will feel it at the Porziuncola, at Rivotorto, at San Damiano, in the New Church, in the Basilica of St. Francis". With these words the Vescovo Domenico Sorrentino, Vescovo of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino and Foligno and President of the Organizing Committee, welcomed the participants to the event.

Testimonials to communicate Francesco's economy

"The only just war is the one we don't fight" was the message of peace launched during the first day by EoF activists.
"This is the cry of our humanity, wars and terrorist attacks, racial and religious persecutions, violent conflicts. Situations that have become so common as to constitute a third world war, fought in a frammentary way. But people want peace, they want their human rights and their dignity to be recognized. Ecco because we must promote cooperation". And avoid that "the resources are trapped in schools, in health, in our future and in our present only to build weapons and feed the wars necessary to sell them".

Among the testimonies of those at the forefront in the field of peace education in schools, it is worth mentioning that of Martina Pignatti, director of "Un ponte per", who recounted the work of her NGO in war zones and in the war effort. The conflict between Iraq and Syria, raising the opposition to "war economies, institutions, the banking system and the companies that finance the weapons". This will provoke - in his view - one of the greatest changes that will take place together with the ecological transition.

From Colombia, the cry of pain of two young accountants from the San José region (Sayda Arteaga Guerra, 27, and José Roviro López Rivera, 31). Their country has been torn apart by war and injustice for decades. It is a land rich in mining and agricultural resources where armed groups have been killing and killing and violence, favoring illegal drug trafficking and the interests of multinationals. "Our community of peace", they say, "is willing to acquire small land holdings".

The Iraqi Fatima Alwardi has shown the importance of using sport as a tool for inclusion and dialogue: in 2015 the volunteer association founded by her organized the first marathon in Baghdad, which in 2018 saw the participation of women for the first time.

On the ornaments of St. Francis

In today's program, Friday 23, "A tu per tu con Francesco. Percorsi sulle orme di San Francesco"The event will include visits to places dedicated to the life of the saint; then, at 11:00 a.m., the young participants will meet in the various villages. At 6:00 p.m., conferences open to all, with young economists and entrepreneurs who will dialogue with international speakers on the main themes of the event.

Nella "Pro Civitate Christianaeconomist Gael Giraud will speak on "The economy of Francesco: a new economy built by the young"; at the Sacro Convento, Francesco Sylos Labini will speak on "The economy of Francesco: a new economy built by the young"; at the Sacro Convento, Francesco Sylos Labini will speak on "The economy of Francesco: a new economy built by the young".Meritocracy, evaluation, excellence: the case of university and research."Vandana Shiva will be interverting his ".Economy of care, economy of gift. Riflessioni su san Francesco: we receive only by donating."In the Sala della Conciliazione Vilson Groh will address the subject "Sentieri per un nuovo patto educativo ed economico: costruire pontiere tra il centro e la periferia".

And now, in the Seraphic Institute, Helen Alford will narrate the theme "Universal Fraternity: An Idea That Could Change the World(La Fraternità Universale: un'idea che può cambiare il mondo); in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, economist Stefano Zamagni will speak on "The Universal Fraternity: an idea that can change the world".I pericoli, già evidenti, della generalizzazione della società. What is the counter-strategy?" In serata, at 21:00, guided visits to the Basilica of San Francesco and the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli.

The objective of "L'economia di Francesco".

At the press conference to present the event on September 7, Monsignor Domenico Sorrentino expressed a wish and a dream. The wish is "that these young people who will sign the Patto with the Pope will commit themselves to enter into a dialogue with the real economy, the world of business, banking institutions, energy companies and financial markets". The dream is that "in Assisi, city-message, city-symbol, now also the capital of a new economy, one day, like the Pope today, the "great ones of the earth" can come together with the youth of the Alleanza, to be inspired by the prophecy of Francis and to be helped by their youthful passion".

On her part, Ms. Alessandra Smerilli, Secretary of the Vatican's Office for the Integral Human Service, said that the aim of "L'Economia di Francesco" is to unite the prophesy of the 'Laudato si` e dei 'Fratelli tutti`, and the value of the importance of embracing poverty, typical of St. Francis of Assisi". For the Salesian suora, the Church "should rejoice" in front of "so many young people who go to work to give content to their dreams and live the prophecy of an economy that does not leave anyone behind and lives in harmony with men and with the earth".

"The whole Church" - he added - "must feel the duty to inform, follow and accompany this path, avoiding the temptation to try to imprison the young people and their projects in prehistoric structures.
As a Dicastero, we want to commit ourselves to guarding and accompanying the road already traveled, we want to get to know these young people better, to help all of us together to be at the service of the local churches, where the greatest challenges are lived, where the excluded have the right to have a name and a name, where the enthusiasm of the young people and their creativity serve".

Meeting with the Pope

The three-day event will conclude tomorrow, Saturday, September 24, with the meeting of the participants with the Pope at the Lyrick Theater in Assisi, where the "Patto per i giovani" will be signed. The meeting can be followed in streaming on EoF's YouTube channel and on Vatican News in seven languages, in addition to the language of the signs.

The Patto, the preamble of which was certainly anticipated yesterday by the Pope himself, on the occasion of a meeting with Deloitte International, one of the world's leading economic and financial consultants. "No profit is legitimate when it lacks the orizzonte of the integral promotion of the human person, of the universal destination of goods, of the preferential option for the poor and of the care of our common home".

For this reason, in the message diffused at the vigil of "L'economia di Francesco" (Francis' Economy), which some commentators have called anti-davos, the Pope has taken the opportunity to remind us that the reconstruction of the post-pandemic and post-war world in Ukraine (when the conflict will end) will require a change of perspective, since the global system is still based on consumerism and speculation and cannot be sustainable at these levels, jeopardizing the future of children.

It is true what St. Paul VI said when he affirmed "that the new name of peace is development in social justice". The dignified work of people, the care of the common home, the economic and social value, the positive impact on the communities are interconnected realities.

The authorAntonino Piccione

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