human dignity, sustainable and inclusive development of communities and the role of philanthropy: assifero receives a private audience with the holy father
over 280 members and partners of assifero participated in the private audience with the holy father on the occasion of the beginning of the celebrations for the association’s twentieth anniversary. rome, 26 january 2023. over 280 people, members and partners of assifero, were welcomed in a private audience by pope francis in the clementine hall of the apostolic palace in the vatican. the private audience marks the beginning of the celebrations for the twentieth anniversary of the association, founded in 2003, which numbers 140 foundations of families, businesses, communities, centuries-old philanthropic bodies and other philanthropic organisations that participate responsibly in the defence of fundamental rights and the affirmation of sustainable, inclusive and fair development.
“you group together numerous private foundations that are active, in italy and abroad, in various spheres in the promotion of the person and the development of healthy and supportive social and economic models, creating synergies between different skills and resources. in fact, an initial aspect that is striking about your action is precisely its richness and variety. you are from different christian origins, extractions and confessions; you carry with you the patrimony of spheres of activity, skills and methods of operation of various types, you devote your attention and your assistance to environments and contexts of all kinds. yours is an “across-the-board” charity, which requires mental openness and the capacity for coordination; to use an image from paul, as a member of a body (cf. 1 corr 12, 1-13). for this reason i would like to advise you to pay particular attention, in your programme, to three important values, of which, after all, you are already well aware: firstly, the promotion of the integral good of the person, secondly, listening to local communities, thirdly, being close to the most humble. regarding closeness, do not forget that this is one of god’s qualities: closeness, compassion and tenderness. god is like this: close, compassionate and tender. these are three “attitudes”, so to speak, of god. this closeness brings you to compassion and tenderness”, this was what the holy father said in his greeting to those present.
[the holy father’s full speech is available via this link]
“assifero’s planned operations always refer back to what was desired and called for by the holy father: to place human dignity at the centre of allits actions; to focus, responsibly, on participatory processes that activate human conscience, and also the political conscience of those who can change the course of things; to give hope, to work towards a society that is just and inclusive” says stefania mancini, assifero president. “each foundation and philanthropic body is different as regards its origin and mission, but within the association we all walk together, sharing the values of justice and peace, on a path based on listening to the territories and communities and capable of anticipating needs and potential, and launching processes that are far-reaching. it gives us deep joy and is a great privilege to be welcomed into the presence of the holy father and with his words and his blessing to begin this new phase on our path, embarked upon twenty years ago. as an association, we look to the future with persistence and hope, and we are committed to ensuring that, through our work, the philanthropic system can stimulate a politics that recognizes people’s centrality as essential”.
[the assifero president’s full speech is available via this link]