Pope Francis on Monday met with representatives of a top Italian investment bank, the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, which is controlled by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance.

In his address, the pontiff said that “Christian thought is not opposed in principle to the prospect of profit; however, it is opposed to profit at any cost, the profit that forgets people, enslaves them, reduce them to a thing among things, part of a process they cannot control in any way nor cannot oppose in any way.”

Francis reminded the managers and staff of the investment bank, which is celebrating 170 years since its foundation, that the social doctrine of the Church proposes a vision that, whilst acknowledging the just remuneration of resources, urges investors to also fund initiatives that favour social and collective advancement.

In light of the coronavirus emergency, the Pope is aware that it is necessary to set out certain lines of development.

“Let us are think about the challenges produced in the social and economic field by the serious pandemic still in progress, trends with significant repercussions, such as the decline of some forms of production, requiring a renewal or radical transformation.

“Let us think about the changes that have occurred in the way goods are bought and sold, with the risk of concentrating exchanges and businesses in the hands of a few global entities.”

Faced with such risks, it is necessary not to give in to corruption but to maintain a “fair and clear conduct” in the management of business.

“It is a question,” noted the Pope, “of identifying and courageously pursuing lines of intervention that are respectful, indeed supportive of the human person and society.”

“In exercising one’s responsibilities, it is necessary to know how to distinguish good from evil. In fact, even in the field of economics and finance, the right intention, transparency and the search for good results are compatible and must never be separated.”