Pope Francis: Business management requires fair and clear conduct, not corruption

Pope Francis 1 at the Wednesday general audience in St Peters Square on June 172015 Credit Bohumil Petrik CNA 6 17 15 Pope Francis. | Bohumil Petrik/CNA

Pope Francis told a group of investment bankers Monday that fair conduct and transparency are essential in the field of finance.

"Christian thought is not contrary in principle to the prospect of profit, rather it is contrary to profit at any cost, to profit which forgets man, makes him a slave, reduces him to one thing among things, a variable of a process that he cannot in any way control or which he cannot oppose in any way," Pope Francis said Oct. 5.

"Business management always requires fair and clear conduct from everyone, which does not yield to corruption," he said in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall.

The pope met with managers and staff of the prominent Italian investment bank, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), as the firm celebrates the 170th anniversary of its founding in Turin this year.

In this audience, the pope told the bankers that they have a responsibility to "know how to distinguish good from evil."

"In fact, even in the field of economics and finance, right intention, transparency and the search for good results … must never be separated," he said. "It is a question of identifying and courageously pursuing lines of action that are respectful, indeed promotional, of the human person and society."

Pope Francis urged the financial leaders to be aware of the role that they will play in the rebuilding of the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Let us think of the social and economic challenges produced by the serious pandemic still underway," he said. "Think of the changes that have occurred in the way goods are bought and sold, with the risk of concentrating exchanges and businesses in the hands of a few global entities."

"An institution like yours can bear practical witness to a sense of solidarity, encouraging real economic recovery, as drivers of development of people, families and the whole society," the pope said.

"May the assistance of the Holy Spirit accompany you and make you builders of justice and peace."

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