This morning in the Holy See Press Office a press conference was held to present the event “Economy of Francesco”, to be held in Assisi from 26 to 28 March 2020).
The panel was composed of Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; Msgr. Domenico Sorrentino, archbishop-bishop of Assisi-Nocera-Umbra-Gualdo Tadino; Luigino Bruni, professor of political economy at the Libera Università Maria Santissima Assunta (LUMSA), Rome, Italy, and consultor of the dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life; the mayor of Assisi, Stefania Proietti; and Fr. Mauro Gambetti, O.F.M. Conv., Custos of the Sacred Convent of Assisi.
Intervention of H.E. Msgr. Domenico Sorrentino
Msgr. Sorrentino defined “Economy of Francesco” as an event of study, encounter, and research, among young scholars and workers in the economy, convoked by Pope Francis. It is significant that the Pope has set up this appointment in place as highly symbolic as Assisi, a city already chosen by Saint John Paul II as an icon of peace for what is considered the “spirit of Assisi”. The title of the event – “Economy of Francesco” – recalls first and foremost the Saint of Assisi, but also alludes to the economic and social teaching of Pope Francis.
In effect, the inspiration for this event is all the teaching of the Pope, who ever since Evangelii gaudium – and then in Laudato si’ – has vigorously denounced the pathological state of a large part of the global economy, referring to an “economy that kills”, and showing how by killing both people and the environment, it also kills the future.
The archbishop also mentioned the Pope’s address in the Shrine of Renunciation in 2013, the hall that where, before his father Bernardone, Saint Francis renounced all his clothing and money. “When Pope Francis spoke there”, said Msgr. Sorrentino, “he recalled all those who have been ‘despoiled’ throughout history, invoking for them an ethic of solidarity capable of closeness, care, and sharing. With his prophetic gesture, the ‘poverello’ of Assisi performed not an anti-economic act, but rather the act of foundation of an alternative economy”. For several years the Franciscan entities in the city, and others, “are conducting a reflection on the dimension, also economic, of the spirituality of the renunciation. It is doing so by bringing together economics and ecology”.
The idea of the event, for which the Pope will go to Assisi for the fourth time, is due in large part to the economist Luigino Bruni, one of the most important representatives of the so-called “economy of communion” who spoke with the Holy Father in June 2018 in the context created by the Synod of the young. “I am able to testify”, assured the bishop, “that in a meeting we held with the Holy Father this last 25 April, the idea of facing the challenges of the economy by mobilizing young people was enthusiastically received by the Holy Father. The young can make the difference. They are the future in every sense, including the future of the economy”.
The diocese, the Seraphic Institute, the Municipality of Assisi and the Focolarino Centre for the Economy of Communion are all participants in the organization of “Economy of Francesco”, also sponsored by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
“We are not closed to any suggestions, wherever they may come from”, concluded the prelate. “What interests us, using terminology dear to the Pope, and believing also to interpret it, is not to celebrate an event but rather to trigger a process”.