Pope Francis urges accountants to put people before money
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Pope Francis has been in the news recently.
There was, of course, his annual Christmas mass and Christmas Day address to the tens of thousands gathered in St Peter's Square.
As is so often the case with this pontiff, he focused on Dec. 25 on the struggles of those with in dire straits -- abused children, refugees, hostages and others suffering from violence worldwide.
Just a few days earlier, in his Christmas greeting to the Curia, he accused the group of cardinals, bishops and priests who make up the church administration of suffering from spiritual Alzheimer's, forgetting what drew them to the priesthood in the first place.
The Pope also chastised many in the church hierarchy of pursuing worldly power and of overly valuing belonging to a closed group.
Admonishing accountants: So it's no surprise that when the Pope addressed participants of the World Congress of Accountants in Rome in mid-November, he urged them to view their work as a service to the community and a way to tackle some of the problems facing society.
"The economy and finance are dimensions of human activity and may be opportunities for encounter, dialogue, and cooperation," the Pope said. To do so, he added, "you must always put man at the center" instead of money.
"When money becomes the object and the reason behind every activity and initiative," continued Pope Francis, "then a utilitarian perspective and the savage logic of profit prevail."
That, warned the Pope, leads to "a collapse of the values of solidarity and respect for the human person."
Ultimately, said the Pope, accountants must be prepared and able to answer questions beyond a balance sheet.
"I encourage you to always work responsibly, fostering relationships of loyalty, justice, if possible, of fraternity, bravely confronting especially the problems of the weakest and of the poorest," said the Pope. "You must keep alive the value of solidarity as a moral attitude and expression of attention toward others who have legitimate needs."
The Pope's exhortations certainly will be a challenge to tax accountants as they face the upcoming filing season.
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