Pope calls for the ‘courage’ to ‘abandon fossil fuels’

 — Sept. 26, 202226 sept. 2022

Francis addresses a thousand young people gathered in Assisi to reflect on economic system reform, saying it’s necessary to make “sacrifices” to ensure an ecological transition.

Pope Francis has told young economists, entrepreneurs and university researchers that the world’s development model must be seriously questioned and reformed without delay.

The pope made his appeal this past Saturday in Assisi before a thousand young adults from around the world who were gathered in Assisi for a three-day meeting titled “The Economy of Francesco,” which explored ways to create sustainable and ecologically viable development.

“We can no longer be content to wait for the next international summit: the earth is burning today. And today is the day to change,” the 85-year-old pope told them.

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The young economists and entrepreneurs welcomed Francis to the Lyrick Theater with sustained applause and dynamic cheers. And it was clear he wanted to take their concerns about the environment seriously.

“The damage must be repaired,” he insisted.

“We grew up abusing the planet and the atmosphere. Today we must also learn to make sacrifices in lifestyles that are still not sustainable,” continued the pope, delivering an address strongly reminiscent of Laudato si’, his ecological and social encyclical published in 2015 just before the Paris climate summit.

Francis said “sacrifices” will demand “new courage,” especially for “abandoning fossil fuel sources” and “accelerating the development of zero or positive impact sources.”

“Look at the faces of young people ultra-specializing in liberal economics”

Addressing the young adults, the vast majority of whom were under the age of 35, the pope praised their generation for being “creative,” “optimistic” and “enthusiastic.”

“A society and economy without young people is sad, pessimistic and cynical,” he said.

“If you want to see this, go to these universities that are ultra-specialized in liberal economics, and look at the faces of the young people who are there,” he added.

In the same breath, Francis blasted the excesses of finance.

“Beware of the gaseous nature of finance, we must bring economic activity back to its roots, to its human roots,” he advised.

“Thank God you are here,” Francis told the young people before him.

If this generation is necessary, in the pope’s eyes, it is because the previous one “has left you a legacy of many riches, but we have not known how to preserve the planet, and we are not preserving peace.”

The poor “at the center”

He criticized “the economic paradigm of the twentieth century, which plundered natural resources and the earth” and said the effort to make necessary changes to this paradigm is tantamount to the battle of David versus Goliath.

He emphasized that without profound changes in the economic system, no “ecological transition” will be possible.

Throughout his speech, the pope repeatedly linked the economic system to the climate emergency.

Without “questioning the development model,” he said, “it will be our children and grandchildren who will pay the bill, a bill that will be too high and too unjust.”

“A rapid and decisive change is necessary,” Francis warned, pleading to put the poor “at the center” of the vision for economic reform.

The young people present in the theater interrupted the pope several times with applause, which provoked a humorous response from him at one point.

“I didn’t stop to get applause, I just needed to breathe,” he smiled.

“I have clearly seen the inequalities in our economic system”

Tamiris Cristhina Resende, a 30-year-old Brazilian academic who was sitting near Francis on the stage, didn’t miss a word of his speech.

“Like the pope,” she said. “I was born in a very poor area, in the south of the world, and I have clearly seen the inequalities of our economic system.”

Resende, who teaches “public policy” at the University of Belo Horizonte, has spent the past two year being involved with “The Economy of Francesco,” a movement the pope and his Vatican aides launched in 2019 to challenge the younger generations.

In recent months, she has been reading the pope’s texts and reflecting with other economists and entrepreneurs from around the world. This has encouraged her to further develop her university courses and the way she works in the financial department of her city council.

“I have integrated into my courses elements that I almost never talked about before, such as the social dimension of investments and sustainability,” she said.

“I’m less focused on the need to make a profit for companies,” Resende added.

During her three days in Assisi, she was able to meet people like Mabih Nji, the 38-year-old head of a hospital pharmacy in eastern Ivory Coast; and Mario Aguilar, a Guatemalan who runs a 200-employee construction company in the United States.

There was also Diletta Pasqualotto, a 31-year-old Italian who took over the business founded by her father.

All of these young people were in Assisi on Saturday when Pope Francis told them: “I am saying this in all seriousness: I am counting on you! Please, do not leave us alone, give us an example!”

Posted: Sept. 26, 2022 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=12525
Categories: La CroixIn this article: economy, environment, Pope Francis
Transmis : 26 sept. 2022 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=12525
Catégorie : La CroixDans cet article : economy, environment, Pope Francis

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