MAY 24, 2017
Gaetano Cavalieri, the President of CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has had a personal audience with Pope Francis at Vatican City in Rome. It took place on May 20, following a three-day conference of the Centesimus Annus pro Pontifice Foundation, where business, academic and political leaders discussed ethical challenges and strategies, and at which Dr. Cavalieri was one of the speakers.
The private audience took place in the Clementina Hall of the Apostolic Palace, after a Roman Catholic mass presided over by Pope Francis.
“The fight against poverty is not merely a technical economic problem, but above all a moral one, calling for global solidarity and the development of more equitable approaches to the concrete needs and aspirations of individuals and peoples worldwide,” Pope Francis said, speaking to the conference’s participants, before meeting with each one personally.
“As Saint John Paul II frequently insisted, economic activity cannot be conducted in an institutional or political vacuum, but has an essential ethical component,” Pope Francis continued. “It must always stand at the service of the human person and the universal common good.”
The Centesimus Annus pro Pontifice Foundation is an international association of business and professional leaders from across the Catholic world, dedicated to infusing the ethical and social doctrine promoted by the church in economic policies and practices. Its 2017 conference was entitled “Constructive Alternatives in an Era of Global Turmoil,” and in the words of Pope Francis, “explored from various standpoints the practical and ethical implications of the present world economy, while at the same time laying the foundations for a business and economic culture that is more inclusive and respectful of human dignity.”
Speaking during the second day of the conference, Dr. Cavalieri focused his presentation on the fight against human trafficking and corruption, noting that those who are most vulnerable are the weakest members of society in conflicted regions. The business community’s moral obligation is to affect positive change at the grass roots level in such places, he insisted.
“We should help such people develop in the lands of their origin, so that they may integrate into the world,” Dr. Cavalieri said. “Let us examine what are the most important elements that afflict underdeveloped economies and their governments, especially where government is corrupt and the enforcement of law is optional.”
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