pope-on-planePope Benedict has pronounced himself pleased with the discussion about business ethics sparked by his encyclical “Charity in Truth” published in July. In a short question-and-answer session (here in the original Italian) with journalists en route to the Czech Republic over the weekend, he commented on reactions to the document:

“I’m very pleased by the broad discussion. That was my goal, to promote and motivate a discussion about these problems and not to allow things to go along as they are but to find new models for a responsible economy both in individual countries and for all of humanity. (Photo: Pope Benedict speaking on the plane, 26 Sept 2009/Max Rossi)

“Today it really seems visible to me that ethics is not something exterior to the economy, a technical issue that  could function on its own, but it’s an interior prinicple of the economy itself which cannot function if it does not take account of the human values of solidarity and reciprocal responsibility. Integrating ethics into the construction of the economy itself is the great challenge of this moment, and I hope to have made a contribution to this challenge with the encyclical.

“The discussion going on strikes me as encouraging. Certainly, we want to continue responding to the challenges of the moment and to help ensure that the sense of responsibility is stronger than the desire for profit and that responsibility for others is stronger than egoism. This is the way we want to contribute to a humane economy in the future.”

Do you think there is more discussion about business ethics, especially since the pope’s encyclical? Has that document contributed to a change in opinion about what is right and wrong in business?