Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople called on Christians to work together to build a culture of solidarity in the face of growing economic inequality and a lack of respect for the human dignity of the poor and of migrants.
The two leaders met privately on 26th May before addressing an international conference sponsored by the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, which seeks to promote the teaching of St John Paul II’s 1991 encyclical on social and economic justice.
“The current difficulties and crises within the global economic system have an undeniable ethical dimension,” Pope Francis told some 500 business leaders, theologians and proponents of Catholic social teaching.
The crises clearly “are related to a mentality of egoism and exclusion that has effectively created a culture of waste blind to the human dignity of the most vulnerable,” the pope said.
A “growing ‘globalisation of indifference'” is seen in the uneven pace of development, “not only in materially poorer countries but increasingly amid the opulence of the developed world,” he said. It also is obvious in people’s reactions to migrants and refugees.
Picture: Pope Francis walks with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople during a meeting in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican on 26th May. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).