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Friday, 17 September 2004


Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. On your Banking Group's second anniversary, you have wished to express your closeness to me and to renew your sentiments of respect. I am grateful and I welcome you!

I thank your President in particular for his courteous words on everyone's behalf.

The complex world of credit calls the Church to reflect on the many ethical implications it involves. Indeed, to pursue goals aimed at maximizing profit would be decidedly narrow; instead, constant reference must be made to the superior values of human existence if one desires to contribute to the true growth and full development of the community. Giuseppe Toniolo, the great Catholic economist, observed in this regard that Christian morality should be "the most powerful factor for inspiring economic vigour in peoples and for guaranteeing them more regular and effective relations" (Trattato di Economia Sociale, I, 94).

2. In this perspective, your presence in society can be instrumental for real progress, by proffering services that support all the worthwhile initiatives of individuals and groups who turn to you for their legitimate financial and economic needs.

I hope that your work will always be sustained by this elevated outlook, so that it may contribute to the good of all who avail themselves of your activities, and more generally, to that of the whole community in which you work.

With these sentiments, as I invoke upon you and your families an abundance of heavenly favours, I cordially impart my Blessing to you all.

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