Pope to Davos: consider human dignity, common good

In a message to economic and political leaders meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Pope Francis urges attention to ethical considerations that he says are often “little more than an afterthought” for them.

His message, just released by the Vatican, highlights world hunger and the plight of refugees. It also calls for a “new political and business mentality … capable of guiding all economic and financial activity within the horizon of an ethical approach which is truly humane.”

Here are some key passages:

 Those who have demonstrated their aptitude for being innovative and for improving the lives of many people by their ingenuity and professional expertise can further contribute by putting their skills at the service of those who are still living in dire poverty. …

Such men and women are able to serve more effectively the common good and to make the goods of this world more accessible to all. Nevertheless, the growth of equality demands something more than economic growth, even though it presupposes it. It demands first of all “a transcendent vision of the person” (Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 11), because “without the perspective of eternal life, human progress in this world is denied breathing-space” (ibid.). It also calls for decisions, mechanisms and processes directed to a better distribution of wealth, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality. …

The international business community can count on many men and women of great personal honesty and integrity, whose work is inspired and guided by high ideals of fairness, generosity and concern for the authentic development of the human family. I urge you to draw upon these great human and moral resources and to take up this challenge with determination and far-sightedness. Without ignoring, naturally, the specific scientific and professional requirements of every context, I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it.

Top 13 quotable quotes by Pope Francis on sanctity of life

VATICAN CITY — Top 13 quotable quotes from Pope Francis on the sanctity of life:

1.

francis life tweet

2.  “All life has inestimable value even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.”

Message to Catholics taking part in annual Day for Life in Britain and Ireland July 28, 2013

3. “Let’s say ‘Yes’ to life and ‘No’ to death.”

Message to Catholics taking part in March for Life in France Jan. 19, 2014

MAN AND CHILD HOLD HANDS DURING ANTI-ABORTION MARCH

A man and child hold hands during an anti-abortion march in central London in 2007. (CNS photo/Toby Melville, Reuters) (Oct. 30, 2007)

4. “Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world’s rejection. And every elderly person…even if he is ill or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the ‘culture of waste’ suggests!”

Speech to Catholic healthcare professionals and gynecologists Sept. 20, 2013

5. “All too often, as we know from experience, people do not choose life, they do not accept the ‘Gospel of Life’ but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power and pleasure, and not by love, by concern for the good of others.

…As a result, the living God is replaced by fleeting human idols which offer the intoxication of a flash of freedom, but in the end bring new forms of slavery and death.”

– from homily at Mass for ‘Evangelium Vitae Day’ June 16, 2013

Boy carries mortar shell in weapons factory of Free Syrian Army in Aleppo

A 10-year-old Syrian boy carries a mortar shell in a weapons factory in Aleppo Sept. 2013. (CNS photo/Hamid Khatib, Reuters)

6. “Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as ‘unnecessary.’ For example, it is frightful even to think there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day; children being used as soldiers, abused and killed in armed conflicts; and children being bought and sold in that terrible form of modern slavery which is human trafficking, which is a crime against humanity.”

Speech to diplomats Jan. 13, 2014

7. “Among the vulnerable for whom the church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this.

…Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the church cannot be expected to change her position on this question… It is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life…”

– Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium #213-214

Pope blesses sick man inside Basilica of Our Lady of Bonaria in Cagliari

Pope Francis blessing a sick man inside the Basilica of Our Lady of Bonaria in Cagliari, Sardinia, Sept. 2013. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

8. “The victims of this [throwaway] culture are precisely the weakest and most fragile human beings — the unborn, the poorest, the sick and elderly, the seriously handicapped, etc. — who are in danger of being ‘thrown away,’ expelled from a system that must be efficient at all costs.

…It is necessary to raise awareness and form the lay faithful, in whatever state, especially those engaged in the field of politics, so that they may think in accord with the Gospel and the social doctrine of the church and act consistently by dialoguing and collaborating with those who, in sincerity and intellectual honesty, share — if not the faith — at least a similar vision of mankind and society and its ethical consequences.

Speech to a delegation from the Dignitatis Humanae Institute Dec. 7, 2013

BOY SITS IN DAMAGED HOME AFTER SHELLING IN SYRIA

A boy sitting at his parents’ house damaged by shelling near Homs Aug. 2012. (CNS photo/Shaam News Network handout via Reuters)

9. “We are called to reach out to those who find themselves in the existential peripheries of our societies and to show particular solidarity with the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters: the poor, the disabled, the unborn and the sick, migrants and refugees, the elderly and the young who lack employment.”

Message to the 10th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches dated Oct. 4, 2013

10. On the church supporting life: “This young woman had the courage” to carry her baby to term and not have an abortion, Pope Francis said. But this example of an unmarried woman who sought baptism for her baby, “what does she find? A closed door. And this happens to a lot of people. This is not good pastoral zeal. This pushes people away from the Lord.”

Homily during morning Mass May 25, 2013 in chapel of his residence

SISTER TEACHES LOCAL MEN TO PROVIDE MATERNAL CARE IN SOUTH SUDAN

Sister Joana Mai Hla Kyi, a nurse and member of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions, demonstrating prenatal therapy in Riimenze, South Sudan, in this 2010 file photo. (CNS file photo/Paul Jeffrey)

11. The fight against abortion is “part of the battle in favor of life from the moment of conception until a dignified, natural end. This includes the care of the mother during pregnancy, the existence of laws to protect the mother postpartum, and the need to ensure that children receive enough food, as well as providing healthcare throughout the whole length of life…”

…On science being aware it is human life: “A pregnant woman isn’t carrying a toothbrush in her belly, or a tumor…We are in the presence of a human being.”

– Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in book of interviews “Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words”

12. “The right to life is the first human right. Abortion is killing someone that cannot defend him or herself.”

– Cardinal Bergoglio with Rabbi Abraham Skorka in book “On Heaven and Earth”

Pope kisses baby as he arrives to lead general audience in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

Pope Francis kisses a baby before start of general audience in St. Peter’s Square Dec. 18, 2013. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

13. “All of us must care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth…to give life is to open (our) heart, and to care for life is to (give oneself) in tenderness and warmth for others, to have concern in my heart for others.

Caring for life from the beginning to the end. What a simple thing, what a beautiful thing..So, go forth and don’t be discouraged. Care for life. It’s worth it.”

–  from a homily in 2005 by Cardinal Bergoglio  celebrating Aug. 31  feast of St. Raymond Nonnatus, patron saint of expectant mothers, newborns

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