(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis began an intense day-long pastoral visit to Genoa on Saturday morning, with a meeting with workers, management, industrialists, union leaders and representatives of unemployed persons at the ILVA steel works in the city.
World of Labour
Pope Francis’ meeting with the world of labour included four questions regarding the issues ranging from the challenges of ossified and unresponsive bureaucracy to the dehumanizing effects of technology and large forces on the workplace and the labour market: one each from a worker, an entrepreneur, a business-owner, and a union representative.
Right and Duty to Work for All
In each of his responses, Pope Francis focused on the primacy of the human person over the reality and rights of labour and capital, insisting that only a correct vision of human nature can inform and direct our efforts to build a just and harmonious society.
The Pope also insisted forcefully on work as something given to man in the order of creation, and essential to genuine human flourishing.
“It is necessary, therefore, to look fearlessly and a sense of responsibility on the technological transformations of the economy and of life, he said, “without resigning ourselves to the ideology that seems to be gaining a foothold wherever one looks, which envisions a world in which only a half or maybe two-thirds of employable people actually work, and the others maintained with a welfare cheque.”
“It must be clear,” Pope Francis continued, “that the true objective to reach is not ‘income for all’ but ‘work for all’.”
Also on the Agenda
With a departure at 7AM, the schedule of the visit to the northern Italian port city on the Ligurian coast included five other major appointments, in addition to the meeting with the “world of labour”:
- With the Bishops, priests, seminarians, and religious of Liguria, along with lay curial collaborators and representatives of other religious confessions at the Cathedral of San Lorenzo;
- An encounter with young people attached to the Diocesan Mission at the Marian Sanctuary of the Madonna della Guardia;
- Lunch at the sanctuary with a number of poor and homeless persons, refugees, and prisoners;
- A moment with children from the various departments of the Giannina Gaslini Pediatric Hospital;
- Solemn Mass at the Piazzale Kennedy, named for the first Catholic President of the United States.
We will be brining you coverage of the trip throughout the day.