ROME – In the preface to a book on his economic thought, Pope Francis has written that the Gospel is not an unattainable ideal, but something that the whole Church should seek, especially where there is economic injustice.
“The Church, in spreading the message of charity and justice of the Gospel, cannot remain silent in the face of injustice and suffering,” the pope wrote.
“Many encounters have confirmed to me that the Gospel is not a utopia but a real hope, even for the economy: God does not abandon his creatures… he invites them to not grow tired of collaborating with everyone for the common good.”
Francis wrote about economic injustice and the social teaching of the Catholic Church in a preface to an Italian-language book of his writings and speeches, published April 12, and called Power and Money: Social Justice According to Bergoglio.
In the preface, Francis wrote that he hopes his messages on economic and social matters will inspire those who exploit others to have a change of heart, coming to find a sense of humanity and justice.
“I cannot fail to denounce with the Gospel the personal and social sins committed against God and against the neighbor in the name of the god of money and of power,” he said.
He noted that, as it shows in the book, his thought is based on the “rich patrimony” of the social doctrine of the Church.
“First as a simple Christian, then as a religious and a priest, then as a pope, I believe that social and economic issues cannot be foreign to the message of the Gospel,” he stated.
“Economy is a vital component for every society, it determines in a good part the quality of life and even of dying, contributes to making human existence worthy or unworthy.”
“Therefore,” he continued, “it occupies an important place in the reflection of the Church, which looks at man and woman as people called to collaborate with God’s plan also through the work, production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.”
He noted that the world is capable of both the best and the worst, but that it seems today, “technical and financial means” have amplified the potential for good and evil so that in some areas of the world there is an excess of money, while in others there is not even the minimum to survive.
Francis explained that, especially in his travels, he has seen “the paradox of a globalized economy” which could feed and house all the inhabitants “of our common home,” but instead concentrates the wealth in the hands of only a few people.
“It is possible: The fact that so many workers, entrepreneurs and administrators are already at the service of justice, solidarity and peace confirms that the way of truth, charity and beauty is arduous, but practicable and necessary, even in economics and finance,” he said.