ADDRESS OF HIS
HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to welcome to the Vatican the distinguished members of the World Business Council. I offer my good wishes for your efforts to promote understanding and cooperation between business and government leaders throughout the world. By reflecting together on the complex economic and ethical issues involved in international life, organizations like your own can promote the development of ever more adequate responses to the opportunities and challenges of the present time.
In her social teaching, the Church is guided by the principle that "man is the source, the focus and the end of all economic life" (Gaudium et Spes, 63). The fundamentally ethical character of business decisions, social policies and models of development makes it imperative that leaders in these areas be guided by more than purely economic considerations. In the Christian view, the individual human person is the goal of all economic, social and political activity. Great efforts are needed to rethink material development in terms of service to the integral well–being of people.
Today, more than ever, there is an urgent need for generous cooperation between all forces in society in promoting the common good in a way that respects the dignity of individuals and social groups, while fostering an effective solidarity which transcends mere self–interest. It is my hope that within the international business community your Council will promote an ever clearer appreciation of the fact that, together with progress in economic production and social organization, there is also a need for "specific ethical and religious values, as well as changes of mentality, behaviour and structures" (John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 60), if the human family is to realize its vocation to live in harmony, justice and peace.
Upon all of you, and upon your families, I cordially invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God.
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