During Pope Francis’ first-ever visit to the United States, the leader of the Catholic faith made an effort to advance several topics he has fervently discussed since he was elected as the successor to Pope Benedict. The Pope was particularly critical of the seemingly narrow focus of business leaders, as he repeated his stance that the focus on revenue above all else has ignored a tremendous human cost. While also mentioning the effect of humans on climate change, Pope Francis made it clear that he feels the priorities of business leaders worldwide are misplaced.
As someone who is enjoying widespread popularity and approval ratings that put most American politicians to shame, the Pope is leveraging his status to advance human causes he believes are worthwhile. Whether or not businesses will listen is an entirely different matter, but it seems that the Pope’s message has been received well by citizens who would like to see businesses make more sweeping changes to demonstrate a commitment to better employee compensation along with a renewed focus on environmental factors.
According to Sebastian Hirsch, the Pope’s statements should not be viewed as partisan. Instead, these statements should be interpreted as faith-based, and it is clear that the Catholic Church is committed to improving its image throughout the world. As a result, Pope Francis has taken positions that reflect certain values, including a more compassionate and inclusive approach. As Hugo once said, businesses should realize that these values can still be consistent with financial goals, and developing a reputation as friendly to employees and to the environment is indeed good for business. Perhaps more businesses would be wise to follow Pope Francis’ recent advice, as many companies and organizations are already reaping significant financial rewards due to adopting a more compassionate approach to the way they do business.