Centesimus Annus Conference in Rome Oct. 21-22

‘Solidarity, Cooperation, and Responsibility: the Antidotes to Fight Injustice, Inequality, and Exclusion’

Centesimus Annus Conference
Anna Maria Tarantola - Wikimedia Commons

The international conference of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation will be held in the New Synod Hall at the Vatican from October 21 to 22, nearly thirty years after the foundation’s birth (June 5, 1993), and will focus on “Solidarity, cooperation and responsibility: the antidotes to fight injustice, inequality, and exclusion”.

Three days during which – in the year that Pope Francis dedicated to Laudato si’ and Fratelli Tutti – authoritative speakers will reflect upon and dialogue around the values outlined by these two encyclicals together with Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate; texts that together represent the continuity of the Social Doctrine of the Church in history and that offer a key to addressing the devastating impact of Covid-19 and the many other pandemics that afflict our planet: poverty, injustice, inequality, wars. Encyclicals that are still relevant because, as the coronavirus pandemic has unfortunately highlighted, thirty years after Centesimus Annus (May 1, 1991), twelve years after Caritas in Veritate (June 29, 2009), and six years after Laudato Sì, the global situation has not changed and things have even got worse in some areas.

The event, which will be opened by Anna Maria Tarantola, Chairwoman of the Centesimus Annus Foundation, will be attended, among others, by Gérard Mourou, Nobel Prize for Physics, Fabiola Gianotti, Director-General of CERN in Geneva, Roberto Cingolani, Minister for Ecological Transition, Piero Cipollone, Deputy Director-General of the Bank of Italy, Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Reform and Cohesion, Monsignor Nunzio Galantino, President of the Patrimony Administration of the Holy See (APSA), Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with the States.

Pope Francis invites us not to return to the past but to build a new world through a process of regeneration. A regeneration that must start from the person, from responsible behaviors oriented to the common good and guided by solidarity, charity, and truth,” emphasizes Chairwoman Anna Maria Tarantola.

The 2021 International Conference is the third leg of a journey that began in 2019 as a response to Pope Francis’ invitation to the Foundation in his 2019 private audience to work toward the implementation of sustainable and integral development to protect our common home. After addressing the urgency of changing behaviors and lifestyles, abandoning the individualistic and relativistic paradigm of consumption, throwaway culture, and short-term profit in order to strive for an economy with a human face, (2019), the new business, governance, and educational models that can and should be adopted to pursue inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development were analyzed (2020). But these new models cannot be concretely implemented if the behavior of businesses, institutions, governments, and individuals are not guided by the values of solidarity, cooperation, and responsibility, as the pandemic has highlighted. This year’s conference will focus on these three values, listening to the voices of scientists, academics, institutional leaders, governments, businesses and young people who will tell us how it is possible to operate while being anchored to these principles-which are the cornerstones of the Social Doctrine of the Church- and succeed in balancing efficiency and the common good.

Enterprises play an important role in the path towards solidarity-based, inclusive, and sustainable development, according to a statement by the organization.

“We must look at the new business model indicated by Pope Francis,” highlights the Chairwoman. “An enterprise that is aware of its responsibilities towards everyone and towards the environment, that produces income with a positive impact on the territory and on the people who interact with it, creating diversified jobs and knowledge, thus helping to overcome poverty.”

This new business model is timidly appearing on the business scene with circular companies, Enterprises that adopt Environment, Social, Governance (ESG), and Benefit Corporations.

“These are all models that come close to the profile indicated by the Pope and which are also successful and appreciated by both markets and consumers, especially the young,” concludes Anna Maria Tarantola.

The conference can also be followed online by logging on to the following links:

21 Ottobre – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPz6feXOEp0

22 Ottobre – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqhfXf6zpso