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Casina Pio IV in the Vatican
Saturday, 12 July 2014


I thank the Cardinal President for his words, I thank you for your fellowship, for the invitation, and for your work. What you are doing is so important: to reflect on reality, but to reflect without fear, to reflect with intelligence. Without fear and with intelligence. And this is a service.

One of you spoke to me about the three reductionisms, but I will speak only of the first: anthropological reductionism. I think that this moment is the most pronounced time of anthropological reductionism. The same thing happens to man as happens when wine becomes grappa: it passes through an organizational still. It is no longer wine, it is something else: perhaps more useful, more specialized, but it’s not wine! It is the same for man: man passes through this still and ends up — and I say this seriously — losing humanity and becoming an instrument of the system, the social system, economic system, a system where imbalance reigns. When man loses his humanity, what can we expect? What happens is what I would call in common parlance: a policy, a sociology, a “throwaway” attitude. One discards what is not needed, because man is not at the centre. And when man is not at the centre, another thing is at the centre and man is at the service of this other thing. The aim therefore is to save man, in the sense that he may return to the centre: to the centre of society, to the centre of thought, the centre of reflection. To bring man once again to the centre. And this is laudable work, and you are doing it. I thank you for this work. You study, reflect, hold these conferences for this, so that man is not thrown away. Children are thrown away, because the birth rate — at least here in Europe — everyone knows it; the elderly are thrown away, because they are of no use. And now? A generation of young people is being thrown away, and this is most serious! I saw a figure: 75 million young people, under 25 years of age, without work. The young “neither-nors” neither studying nor working. They don’t study because they don’t have the means, they don’t work because there are no jobs. More waste. What will be the next thing thrown away? We must stop before it’s too late, please!

I thank you. I thank you for the help that you give with your work, with your reflection, to restore this unbalanced situation and to recover man and bring him back to the centre of reflection and the centre of life. He is the king of the universe! And this is not theology, it is not philosophy — it is human reality. With this we will go forward. Thank you, thank you truly. Thank you!

The desire to contribute to the building of a more just and fair society. Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, thus explained to the Holy Father the meaning of the meeting of 70 economists on 11-12 July at the Casina Pio IV in the Vatican. In his greeting to the Holy Father at the end of their lunch, he said that their workshop, entitled “For an ever more inclusive economy”, gathered 70 representatives of the public sector and of business, economics, and academia. The objective of the seminar, he said, is to “respond to the challenge of fostering an economic and social system adapted to the challenges of the 21st century”. The intention, he added, “is to help build a more just society”.


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