Rome – Recognizing how to give young people a world marked by inequality, injustice, war and environmental degradation, Pope Francis urged those looking for solutions to be tangible, involve the poor, take care of the land and create jobs.
“Our generation has left you a rich legacy, but we didn’t know how to protect the planet nor achieve peace,” Francis told nearly 1,000 young economists, entrepreneurs, financial advisors, students, scholars and scientists from 120 countries at the conference. Closing session of the Francesco Economy event in Assisi.
Originally planned for September 22-24 in March 2020 but has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, young people have spent more than two years working online with older experts, studying agriculture, employment, peace, the environment, finance and development looking for ways to make the economy better for more people and for the environment.
The project is named in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, known for his love for the poor and for creation, and has been supported by the Directorate to promote integral human development.
At the end of the meeting, the participants gave Pope Francis a charter, promising to work for “an economy of peace and not war; an economy that resists the proliferation of weapons, especially the most destructive; an economy that cares about creation and does not pillage it; an economy that serves the individual, the family, and life, one that respects every woman, man, child, and the elderly.” Especially the weak and the weak.”
The Pope also encouraged young people to devote themselves to preserving and increasing their “spiritual capital,” the faith and values that would give meaning to their studies and work, and especially to their lives.
After all, he said, “Humans, created in the image and likeness of God, are seekers of meaning before they are seekers of material goods,” but the modern world ignores “this basic type of capital, which has been accumulated over centuries by wise religions and traditions.” and popular piety.”
Inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, he said, the new economic model should be “an economy of friendship with the earth and an economy of peace. It is a matter of transforming an economy of killing into an economy of life, with all that is in it.” Ways.”
He said that the love of the poor and the land should go hand in hand. But it will require sacrifice and radical change.
He said, “The earth is burning today.” “If we talk about ecological transformation but stay in the economic model of the 20th century, which plunders the land and its natural resources, then the strategies we adopt will always be inadequate.”
Pope Francis told young people: “We humans, in the last two centuries, have grown up at the expense of the earth. We have often plundered to increase our own well-being, not even the well-being of all.” “Now is the time for a new courage to abandon fossil fuels to accelerate the development of zero-impact or positive energy sources.”
When the Pope arrived at the gathering, young people from Italy, Benin, Argentina, Thailand, Kenya, Afghanistan and Poland shared their stories and projects – from setting up farms and educating farmers in regenerative agriculture to setting up small businesses or rallying other young people to persuade companies to stop producing single-use plastic bottles and bags.
Andrea, a young Italian in prison for murder but who got permission to attend an Assisi event, spoke about his work in digital marketing through a prison-based cooperative, which provides remote workers for companies as well as a workshop to repair espresso machines for cafes.
Andrea said: “I am not an economist, but it seems to me quite logical to think that prison, to be a good investment for society, must produce tangible results, which are essentially two: security and no recidivism.” “People who get out of prison must be changed and transformed from a ‘cost component’ to a ‘resource’ for society.”
Concluding his prayer speech, Francis asked God to forgive the older generation “for having harmed the land, not respecting the cultures of the aborigines, and not appreciating and loving the poorest of the poor, because he created wealth without company.”
He prayed that the Holy Spirit would continue to inspire young people and that “God bless them in their work, studies, and dreams.”
The Pope prayed: “Further up their longing for the good and for life, raise them up when faced with disappointments by bad examples, let them not lose their resolve but instead they can continue on their way.” “You, whose only son became a carpenter, give them the joy of changing the world with love, ingenuity, and hands.”