.- On Saturday at the Apostolic Palace, Pope Benedict met in audience with a group from a local Italian municipal agency. Speaking with them, but also to the international community, Holy Father stressed the importance of "social responsibility" in the business environment “to promote the good of all.”
Meeting with directors and personnel of the Roman branch of ACEA, a company that specializes in providing energy and water services to Italy, the Holy Father expressed his hope that the development model that has brought the world to its present economic crisis would be rethought so that man with his “capacity to produce, innovate, think and build the future” is placed at the center.
It’s important, he continued, to increase consciousness for “the necessity of a broader ‘social responsibility’ in business, that strives to hold in just consideration the expectations and needs of workers, clients, producers and the entire community, and to pay special attention to the environment.”
“In this way,” added Pope Benedict, “the production of goods and services will not be tied exclusively to the search for economic profits, but also to the promotion of the good for all.”
The Holy Father praised ACEA for measures it has taken to protect and reduce the negative impact of their business activities on the environment. “But it is equally important to promote a human ecology that is intended to bring about work environments and interpersonal relations deserving of man.”
Pope Benedict XVI summed up his message by saying that “the protection of creation… implies also the protection of those sentiments of kindness, generosity, correctness and honesty that God has put in the heart of every human being, created in his ‘image and likeness.’”
He concluded by saying that it is through the example of Christ that we should act “to be able to grow in humanity and so realize a City with an always human face, in which each is considered a person, a spiritual being in relation with others.”
The Pope also thanked the agency for its efforts “in the illumination of the monuments that make Rome unique in the world,” among them St. Peter’s Basilica.