Having been outspoken over capitalism and the rise of income inequality; for the first time, an address from the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics was read to the political and business elites at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Pope Francis pulled no punches as he implored attendees to remember that “humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it,” and called for “decisions, mechanisms and processes directed to a better distribution of wealth.” The guilt-ridden tone was heavy as The Holy See admonished, “I wish to emphasize the importance that the various political and economic sectors have in promoting an inclusive approach which takes into consideration the dignity of every human person and the common good. I am referring to a concern that ought to shape every political and economic decision, but which at times seems to be little more than an after-thought.”
To Professor Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum:
I am very grateful for your kind invitation to address the annual meeting of the WorldEconomic Forum, which, as is customary, will be held at Davos-Klosters at the end of this month. Trusting that the meeting will provide an occasion for deeper reflection on the causes of the economic crisis affecting the world these past few years, I would like to offer some considerations in the hope that they might enrich the discussions of the Forum and make a useful contribution to its important work.
Ours is a time of notable changes and significant progress in different areas which have important consequences for the life of humanity. In fact, “we must praise the steps being taken to improve people’s welfare in areas such as health care, education and communications” (Evangelii Gaudium, 52), in addition to many other areas of human activity, and we must recognize the fundamental role that modern business activity has had in bringing about these changes, by stimulating and developing the immense resources of human intelligence.