Public money must serve the common good | National Catholic Register

In his address to a delegation from the Italian Revenue Agency, Pope Francis said it was important to work with honesty, impartiality and transparency.

VATICAN CITY — During an audience with employees of the Italian Revenue Agency on Monday, Pope Francis recalled the teaching of the Catholic Church on the universal destination of goods, while urging the agency to carry out its work with honesty, transparency and impartiality.

“Taxation, when fair, serves the common good,” the pope said in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall Jan. 31.

“Let us work to grow the culture of the common good — it is important — so that we take seriously the universal destination of goods, which is the first destination of goods, the universal destination, which The social doctrine of the he Church continues to teach today, inheriting it from Scripture and the Church Fathers.

According to Compendium of Church Social Doctrine, a book compiling the teachings of the Catholic Church on social issues, “every person must have access to the level of well-being necessary for their full development. The right to the common use of goods is the “first principle of the whole ethical and social order” and “the characteristic principle of Christian social doctrine”.

“The principle of the universal destination of goods is an invitation to develop an economic vision inspired by moral values ​​allowing not to lose sight of the origin or the destination of these goods, in order to bring about a world of equity and solidarity, in which the creation of wealth can take on a positive function,” the compendium states.

In his address to a delegation from the Italian Revenue Agency, Pope Francis said it was important to work with honesty, impartiality and transparency.

According to the pope, if taxation is done in this way, it will encourage more people to pay their taxes honestly and help serve the common good.

“The tax agency is often viewed negatively if you don’t understand where and how public money is spent. This risks fueling mistrust and discontent. Those who manage everyone’s wealth have a heavy responsibility not to get rich,” he said.

Pope Francis noted that it will not be possible for each of us to solve all the economic ills of society, but no one should profit from the poverty or misfortune of others.

On this point he quotes Father Primo Mazzolari, who wrote to the Catholic politicians elected to Parliament in 1948: to theirs. Reducing the disease of one’s neighbor is not always possible: not perceiving one’s misery is always possible. It is the first duty, the first Christian witness. Faced with common suffering, clean hands seem a meager presentation: but the poor do not think so. The poor measure by this, not our honesty, but our solidarity, which is then the measure of our love.

The pope added: “Transparency in the management of money, which comes from the sacrifices of many workers, reveals freedom of spirit and trains people to be more motivated to pay taxes, especially if the collection of Taxes help to overcome inequalities, to make investments so that there is more work, to ensure good health and good education for all, to create infrastructures that facilitate social life and the economy.

Esther L. Steinbach