2016-11-16 15:22:00

Vatican conference for business and Church leaders on social inclusion

(Vatican Radio)  An international conference is set to take place in the Vatican for business leaders with the goal of promoting economic and social inclusion.

The conference – hosted by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Christian Union of Business Executives (UNIAPAC) – takes place 17-18 November and follows a 2014 conference attended by Pope Francis.

Business executives from several multinational corporations and Church leaders will reflect on ways to “create a working environment based on the principles of the Christian social thought, including solidarity, subsidiarity and the pursuit of the Common Good”.

Listen to Devin Watkins' report:

Business executives and Church leaders are set to meet in the Vatican this week to work together for social inclusion and to put into practice the principles of Catholic social teaching.

The international conference carries the title: ‘Business Leaders as Agents of Economic and Social Inclusion’.

At a press conference ahead of the event, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said the conference serves as a bridge between the needs of workers and those who direct the process of production.

“In order to achieve a better balance in society, we need to dialogue, to carry on a constant exchange of views in a cooperative context between production managers, production owners, and people employed in this context.”

One business leader participating in the event is Felix Pole, Chairman of the nickel mining conglomerate CMI.

Mr. Pole told me he is aware of the negative and positive impacts the mining industry can have on a society and hopes to learn more about how to promote social inclusion.

“Our concern is to demonstrate or to be a part of a dialogue which shows that mining can have such a big social impact both positive and negative, and often it is perceived for its negative rather than its positive [impacts]. We’re sending a message and to a certain extent we want to listen to see what other people’s views are of how they see social inclusion and the role of the business leader.”

One focus of the conference is Pope Francis’ own evaluation of business in Laudato Si’, in which he says: “Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving our world”.

Pope Francis addressed the conference on Thursday, click here to read our report of his address.

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