Profit-at-all-costs is not a good business model, pope says

The silhouette of a woman talking into a cellphone is visible in front of large glass office building windows with more buildings outside the windows

A woman uses her phone in an office building in this illustration photo. (CNS photo/Toru Hanai, Reuters)

by Catholic News Service

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Business leaders must fight the temptation to seek financial gain above all else and instead promote a "culture of encounter" that improves their balance sheet and the lives of their employees and communities at the same time, Pope Francis said.

"It is essential to approach work from a culture of encounter. The values of this culture can enable the world of business to defend itself from the shadows of evil that invade us when profit at all costs distorts our relationships, to the point of degrading or even enslaving people," the pope told business leaders from Latin America June 1.

The Latin American Business Council was holding its annual meeting in Rome May 31-June 2 and used the opportunity to meet with a variety of Vatican officials to discuss social themes that, Francis said, "affect us all, like work, migration, climate change and integral human development."

The culture of encounter, Francis told them, is an expression of the search for the common good and it becomes concrete in "the many daily efforts and sacrifices that your companies make to get ahead and to train and update their workers, avoid conflicts and avoid the pain of letting someone go."

The pope prayed the business leaders would be inspired and strengthened by their faith as they "face the sea of the world and the storms that arise," helping one another and working to create a better world.

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