00 7/7/2009 5:18 AM




Pope addresses 'Centesimus Annus' Foundation
Translated from




Here is a translation of the address delivered by the Holy Father at noon Saturday (June 13) at the Sala Clementina of the Apostolic Palace to the members of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation - at which he confirmed the imminent publication of his third encyclical, the so-called 'social encyclical'.


Venerated brothers in the Episcopate and Priesthood,
Distinguished dear friends:


Than you for your visit on the occasion of your annual meeting. I greet everyone with affection and I am thankful for all you do, with proven generosity, in the service of the Church.

I greet and thank Count Lorenzo Rossi di Montelera, your President who interpreted your sentiments with great sensitivity, while describing the major lines of the Foundation's activities. And I thank those who, in various languages. presented me with their affirmations of common devotion.

Our meeting today has a meaning and special value in the light of the situation which all mankind is now living.

Indeed, the financial and economic crisis which has struck the industrialized nations, as well as emerging adn developing nations, obviously shows how certain economic-financial paradigms which have been dominant in recent years must be rethought.

Therefore your Foundation has done well to confront, in the international convention held yesterday, the subject of inquiring into and identifying the values and rules that the economic world must live by in order to set in place a new model of development that is more attentive to the demands of solidarity and more respectful of human dignity.

I am happy to learn that you examined, in particular, the interdependence of institutions, society and the market, starting from the reflection, according to the encyclical Centesimus Annus of my venerated predecessor John Paul II, that the market economy (capitalism) - understood as 'the economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector" (No, 42) - can be recognized as a way to economic and civilian progress only if it is oriented to the common good (cfr No. 41).

This vision, however, must also be accompanied by another reflection according to which freedom in the economic sector must be "circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it in the service of human freedom in its totality" - responsible freedom 'the core of which is ethical and religious" (No. 42).

Quite opportunely, the Encyclical says: "Just as the person fully realizes himself in the free gift of self, so too ownership morally justifies itself in the creation, at the proper time and in the proper way, of opportunities for work and human growth for all" (No. 43)

I hope that the inquiries developed through your work, inspired by the eternal principles of the Gospel, may elaborate a vision of modern economy that respects the needs and the rights of the weak.

As you know, my Encyclical dedicated precisely to the vast subject of the economy and labor will be published soon: it will highlight what we Christians consider to be those objectives to pursue and the values to promote and defend tirelessly, in order to realize human coexistence that is truly free and fraternal.

I similarly note with pleasure what you have been doing in behalf of PISAI (Pontificio Istituto di Studi Arabi e d’Islamistica), to whose ends, which you share, I attribute great value for an ever more fruitful inter-religious dialog.

Dear friends, thank you once again for your visit. I assure each of you remembrance in my prayers, while I bless you all from my heart.



The Holy Father with children of Foundation members.


Note on the Foundation:


Founded on June 5, 1993, Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice” (CAPP) is a lay-led, pontifical organization, characterized by a special
relationship with its founder, Pope John Paul II. It is made up of business people, academics, and professionals.

Pope Benedict XVI has continued the tradition of yearly meetings with them, as a vehicle for lay education and evangelization of Catholic social doctrine, as contained in John Paul II's 1991 social encyclical Centesimus Annus.