He spoke in an audience with the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation’s annual convention, which was held at the Vatican Oct. 21-22.
The foundation is named after the ninth encyclical by St. John Paul II, which addressed the social teaching of the Church, particularly in regard to workers and the economy, and the relationship of the state to society.
“In every area today, we are more than ever obliged to bear witness to attention for others, to to go out of ourselves, to commit ourselves with gratuitousness to the development of a more just and equitable society, where selfishness and partisan interests do not prevail,” the pope said.
“And at the same time we are called to watch over respect for the human person, his freedom, the protection of his inviolable dignity. Here is the mission to implement the social doctrine of the Church.”
“In carrying on these values and this lifestyle, we know we often go against the tide, but let us always remember: we are not alone. God has come close to us. Not in words, but with His presence: In Jesus, God became Incarnate," Francis said.
The theme of the foundation’s conference this year is “Solidarity, cooperation and responsibility: the antidotes to combat injustices, inequalities and exclusion.”