Entrepreneurs, workers and scholars from 49 countries are meeting in Rome to offer Pope Francis the modest but suffered result of twenty-five years of counter-current efforts to develop a productive communion open to the excluded.
by Alberto Ferrucci
from the pdf EoC Report 2016 (2.11 MB) on the "Economy of Communion - A New Culture" - Editorial insert of Città Nuova n.2/2017 - february 2017
This report of the year 2016 is being published in the days when the operators of the Economy of Communion from all over the world gather in Rome to meet Pope Francis. They will have the opportunity to offer the following things to the Holy Father: the operational business parks in Europe and Latin America, the life of communion of the workers of more than eight hundred companies, the support provided to thousands of poor people, schooling for their children, the associations that organise trainings and support networks for new companies and young entrepreneurs, the productive and social projects as well as the support for the university of the culture of unity and the dialogue with contemporary culture.
It may seem little compared to the complexity of today's problems, especially if offered in the more authoritative category of the future of society and the environment of the planet. Anyhow, they are our "five loaves and two fish", which we hope will be made precious by the faces of all those who come to the meeting with the pope, with the light of the charisma of Unity in their eyes, God's gift entrusted to Chiara Lubich under the bombs of the Second World War.
Twenty-five years ago, seeing the scandal of the favelas around the skyscrapers of Sao Paulo, as an alternative to triumphant consumerism after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Chiara suggested a "productive communion" that's inclusive of those who are underprivileged, calling us to unite to produce a new kind of wealth and help the poor move from their condition.
All this happened just as the globalization of capital and labour was spreading, which should have redeemed two billion people from poverty, but instead allowed the big economic and financial groups, benefitting from the lack of rules, to evade taxes on their huge profits; taxes that should have financed the research and innovation of the states, needed to create new jobs to replace those traditional ones that were wiped out.
Wealth stolen from the common good that is accumulated by groups that are so powerful now that they are difficult to control. That's how "structures of sin" have been consolidated that concentrate wealth in the hands of few people and cause difficulties to many, leading them to listen to those who blame the situation on the poorest of the poor, those who are deprived of not only goods but also their homeland, posing some heavy questions to us in their despair in the streets of our cities every day.
Therefore our prospects seem to be of a world in which walls are erected and confidence is collapsed, which is the opposite of the United World that Chiara proposed indicating the way with the Economy of Communion, the world that Pope Francis tries to build showing a merciful God looking at all the inhabitants of this small planet wandering through space, on which we survive breathing in the atmosphere that wraps it in a very thin layer.