By Charles Igwe
Pope Francis has conveyed a poignant message to French entrepreneurs who convened at the MEDEF union summer forum “La Rencontre des Entrepreneurs de France, LaREF,” taking place on August 28-29 at the Paris Longchamp Racecourse.
In his message, delivered on Monday afternoon by Archbishop Matthieu Rougé of Nanterre, the Holy Father emphasized the concept of the “common good,” a term that he described as the foremost thought associated with entrepreneurs. Pope Francis characterized entrepreneurs as pivotal contributors to development and well-being, labeling them as essential drivers of wealth, prosperity, and public happiness.
Acknowledging a less-discussed aspect, Pope Francis drew attention to the challenges and struggles faced by entrepreneurs who, through no fault of their own, are compelled to close their businesses and experience setbacks. He cited a verse from the Book of Job, underlining that success does not automatically equate to virtue and goodness, and adversity does not necessarily imply fault – a reality that even impacts the righteous.
Contrary to this, Pope Francis highlighted the Church’s recognition of the adversity faced by virtuous entrepreneurs. He recounted how the Church, from its earliest days, has embraced merchants, who were the forerunners of modern entrepreneurs, into its fold. This affirmation of the role of entrepreneurs within the Church’s history underlines the Pope’s emphasis on human value and empathy in the realm of work.