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Do not forget the poor

· ​In a message to the Davos meeting, the Pope recalls that man must not govern development ·

“There is a need to create new models of doing business which, while promoting the development of advanced technologies, are also capable of using them to create dignified work for all, to uphold and consolidate social rights, and to protect the environment”. Pope Francis wrote a message to the participants in the 46th World Economic Forum which began on Wednesday, 20 January, in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, on the theme: “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

“Man must guide technological development”, he writes, “without letting himself be dominated by it!”. The Holy Father continued by appealing on behalf of the poor. “This is the primary challenge before you as leaders in the business world”.

With these strong words, Francis continued by stating that “we must never allow the culture of prosperity to deaden us”, also because “weeping for other people’s pain does not only mean sharing in their sufferings, but also and above all realizing that our own actions are a cause of injustice and inequality”. Then, quoting the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, the Pope says: “Let us open our eyes, then, and see the misery of the world, the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity, and let us recognize that we are compelled to heed their cry for help! May we reach out to them and support them so they can feel the warmth of our presence, our friendship, and our fraternity! May their cry become our own, and together may we break down the barriers of indifference that too often reign supreme and mask our hypocrisy and egoism!”. Only when we realize this, Pope Francis said, will “we become more fully human, since responsibility for our brothers and sisters is an essential part of our common humanity”. Therefore, “Do not be afraid to open your minds and hearts to the poor”, he said. “In this way, you will give free rein to your economic and technical talents, and discover the happiness of a full life, which consumerism of itself cannot provide”.

Then the Pontiff addressed the “profound and epochal changes, world leaders are challenged to ensure that the coming 'fourth industrial revolution', the result of robotics and scientific and technological innovations, does not lead to the destruction of the human person — to be replaced by a soulless machine — or to the transformation of our planet into an empty garden for the enjoyment of a chosen few”. On the contrary, “the present moment offers a precious opportunity to guide and govern the processes now under way, and to build inclusive societies based on respect for human dignity, tolerance, compassion and mercy. I urge you, then, to take up anew your conversation on how to build the future of the planet, “our common home”, and I ask you to make a united effort to pursue a sustainable and integral development”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 25, 2018

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