“Businesses should not exist to make money,” Pope Francis told an audience of business executives at the Vatican on November 17. “Businesses exist to serve.”
The Pope laid out three themes in an address to participants in a conference on how business leaders can promote social and economic inclusion. He spoke on the proper role of money, the importance of honesty, and the need for solidarity.
Regarding money, the Pope repeated his own phrase that it is “the dung of the devil.” He rejected the idea that money is a neutral tool of exchange. “When one affirms the neutrality of money, they fall into its power,” he said. He decried the fact that in capital markets, those with the most wealth find it easiest to obtain credit, while those in the greatest need are often at the mercy of lenders.
Honesty, the Pope continued, is essential to civil life. “Corruption is the worst social plague,” he said. Corruption, he added, is an indication of idol-worship: the worship of money.
On solidarity, the Pope said that just relationships between workers and managers “should be respected and required by all parties.” He made a point of saying that solidarity calls for the acceptance of immigration as “an important factor of development.”
An estimated 10,000 people joined in a demonstration in Taipei in opposition to a bid for legal recognition of same-sex marriage in Taiwan.
The rally was organized on November 17 as Taiwan’s lawmakers weighed a measure that would allow for same-sex marriage and the adoption of children by homosexual couples. The legislation has already received preliminary approval. If it becomes law, Taiwan would be the first Asian country to recognize same-sex marriage.
Following the recent liberation of areas of Iraq from ISIS control, some Iraqi Christians who were unable to flee the Islamic State’s 2014 advance spoke with Agence France-Presse about their life the past two years, which in some cases involved conversion to Islam.
A 14-year-old recounted that an ISIS fighter told his mother that they would shoot him unless they both converted to Islam.“So we converted,” he said, but later, “if they found that I hadn’t been to the mosque to pray, I sometimes got lashes.”