(Vatican Radio) “A discussion on economy is in no way a mere discussion on finance – which is only an instrument”.
These were words of Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi during a Vatican press conference on Monday to present an upcoming ‘Courtyard of the Gentiles’ conference focusing on economy and social justice.
The ‘Courtyard of the Gentiles’ Foundation is an initiative led by the Pontifical Council for Culture and its president, Cardinal Ravasi, following a suggestion of the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, to encourage dialogue between believers of all faiths and nonbelievers, often in the form of discussions between Ravasi and secular professors.
Speaking to the media in the run up to the Conference entitled “Towards a more human and just economy. A new economic paradigm in a context of increasing inequalities” scheduled to take place on 21 September in Rome, Ravasi elaborated upon the issue at hand and introduced two of the other protagonists of the event: Daniele Mancini and Giuliano Amato.
Daniele Mancini is the Italian Ambassador to the Holy See which is hosting the Conference; former Italian Prime Minister, Giuliano Amato, is President of the “Courtyard of the Gentiles” which is spearheading the event.
During the press conference Ravasi reiterated that the themes chosen by the Foundation are closely interwoven with practical, concrete and vital issues that affect society.
Regarding the issue at hand, the Cardinal said that “to have a debate on economy does not mean to talk about finance: finance for me – he said – is an instrument and unfortunately today we witness a bulimia of instruments and anorexia of objectives”.
He explained that the Foundation provides a space within which participants can discuss issues from different perspectives and in total freedom.
Ravasi also pointed to the excellency of the speakers at the Conference which include Angus Deaton, 2015 Nobel Prize in Economics and Professor at Princeton University, Jean-Paul Fitoussi, economist and Professor at LUISS University and Dominique Y van der Mensbrugghe, economist and Professor at Purdue University.
He said that the discussion will focus on how increasing inequalities affect the individual, society and the economy and will address the need to define new economic model which is more human and more inclusive.