Support families, human dignity, pope tells global leaders at Davos

IMAGE: CNS photo/Denis Balibouse Reuters

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Global leaders must implement policies that
support the family and offer real opportunities for the growth and development
of all people, Pope Francis told people attending the World Economic Forum in
Davos, Switzerland.

“If we want a more secure future, one that
encourages the prosperity of all, then it is necessary to keep the compass
continually oriented toward
‘true North,’ represented by authentic values,” he wrote.

“Now is the time to take courageous and bold steps
for our beloved planet. This is the right moment to put into action our
responsibility to contribute to the development of humanity,” he told corporate
and political leaders.

The pope’s message was read at the meeting Jan. 22 by
Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human

The annual meeting in Davos brought together people representing business,
government, academia and media to discuss the theme, “Creating a Shared
Future in a Fractured World.” They were to address topics such as
sustainable development and inclusive economies as well as challenges posed by cyberattacks
and divisive “narratives.”

In his written message, the pope said, “we are increasingly aware that
there is a growing fragmentation between states and institutions.”

The pope told world leaders and global executives that
they must confront both new and lingering problems and challenges, such as
unemployment, poverty, economic and social inequality, and new forms of

“It is vital to safeguard the dignity of the human
person, in particular by offering to all people real opportunities for integral
human development and by implementing economic policies that favor the
family,” he said.

“We cannot remain silent in the face of the
suffering of millions of people whose dignity is wounded,” he said, adding that it is a moral
imperative for everyone “to create the right conditions to allow each
person to live in a dignified manner.”

“By rejecting a ‘throwaway’ culture and a mentality
of indifference, the entrepreneurial world has enormous potential to effect
substantial change by increasing the quality of productivity, creating new
jobs, respecting labor laws, fighting against public and private corruption and
promoting social justice, together with the fair and equitable sharing of
profits,” the pope said.

“There is a grave responsibility to exercise wise
discernment, for the decisions made will be decisive for shaping the world of
tomorrow and that of future generations,” he added.

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