A truly Christian approach to running a business would be modelled after the father in the Gospel story of the prodigal son by giving jobs and a second chance to those who have made mistakes, Pope Francis said.
A business plan inspired by “communion,” he said, “is not blocked by the meritocracy invoked by the older son and by many who, in the name of merit, reject mercy.”
Meeting with hundreds of people involved in the ‘economy of communion’ project of the Focolare Movement on 4th February Pope Francis said their business model of promoting co-responsibility, sharing profits and creating jobs can be the leaven needed to promote an economic model where “the rich know how to share their riches and the poor are called blessed.”
Like the father in the Gospel story, he said, “an entrepreneur of communion is called to do everything possible so that even those who make a mistake and leave his house can hope for a job and a dignified income and not find themselves eating with the pigs,” like the younger son.
Even before requiring a sharing of money, an economic and business model more in line with the Gospel requires business leaders and workers to share their time and their talent, the pope said. “Capitalism knows philanthropy, not communion. It simply means giving a part of your profits, but without embracing and touching the people who are receiving those ‘crumbs’.”
Picture: People walk in Tokyo, Japan, in this 2013 file photo. An economic and business model in line with the Gospel requires business leaders and workers to share their time and their talent, Pope Francis said during a meeting with the Focolare Movement on 4th February. (CNS photo/Kiyoshi Ota, EPA).