The Common GoodIs the End That GivesMeaning to Progress
by Pope Benedict XVI
On Saturday morning, 22 May, the Holy Father received participants in astudy Conference promoted by the “Centesimus Annus—Pro Pontifice” Foundation in the Clementine Hall. The following is a translation of his Discourse, which was delivered in Italian.
was glad to see that the centralfocus of your meeting is reflec-tion on the relationship between “de-velopment, progress, common good.”Indeed, today more than ever, thehuman family may develop as a freesociety of free peoples if globaliza-tion is guided by solidarity and bythe common good, and also by arelative social justice, which find aprecious source in the message of Christ and in the Church.In reality, the crisis and difficul-ties which are now afflicting inter-national relations, the States, soci-ety and the economy, are largelydue to the lack of trust and inad-equate supportive and creative in-spiration, as well as a lack of dyna-mism oriented to the common good,which lead to authentic human re-lationships of friendship, solidarityand reciprocity even “within” eco-nomic activities. The common goodis the goal that gives meaning toprogress and to development, whichwould otherwise be limited solely tothe production of material goods.These are necessary, but unless theyare oriented to the common good,consumerism, waste, poverty andimbalances will ultimately prevail— factors impeding progress and de-velopment. As I highlighted in my Encycli-cal
Caritas in Veritate,
one of thegreatest risks in the world today isthat “the
interdependenceof people and nations is not matchedby ethical interaction of consciencesand minds that would give rise totruly human development” (n. 9).For example, such interaction ap-
* Taken from
WeeklyEnglish Edition, 2 June 2010, p. 4.