So apparently Pope Francis had a meeting at the Vatican with a roomful of Deloitte consultants yesterday? And in his address, the Holy Father told them business has the power to help suffering people and to help tackle crises worldwide, including the pandemic and war. As if there weren’t enough pressure on people at Big 4 firms, now they’re supposed to solve pandemics and wars with only Excel and PowerPoint as tools.
The Pope thanked them for their visit and work, before turning his attention to the numerous challenges plaguing the world, and suggesting three ways they can promote a more humane, just, and fraternal world.
His first suggestion “is always to remain aware that you can leave a mark.” Obviously the hope here is that the mark these consultants’ leave is one of integrity and positivity. “You are well aware of your ‘power,’” he said. “This should be accompanied constantly by the desire to direct your analysis and proposals towards choices consistent with the paradigm of integral ecology.”
The second was for them “to take up and fulfill your cultural responsibility, which also stems from your wealth of intelligence and connections.”
And the third: enhance diversity. The Vatican News piece did not expand further on this point. “Enhance diversity” is an obvious directive, I guess.
The pope went on to talk about how the world has experienced severe and continuing crises, pretty much back-to-back without much resolution between. “We had not finished dealing with the financial crisis of 2007 before we had to face the crisis of sovereign debt and of real economies, followed by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine with all its global consequences and threats,” he said.
He then piled on the guilt and reminded the consultants that at the end of the day, there’s nothing noble about what they do. OK maybe his comments weren’t that harsh, but he did highlight inequities around the globe and the part professional services firms and their clients might play in that:
While daily life improved for one part of humanity, he noted, the other part has suffered from “unscrupulous choices” and “has become the main victim of a sort of counter-development.”
“What can professional consultants do in this difficult and uncertain situation? They can do a great deal by organizing their analyses and proposals with an integral perspective and vision.”
“Today’s consultants, aware of their role, are called to propose and discuss new directions for new challenges.”
He noted they should adopt and propose policies that also promote quality of life globally, and put first the integral wellbeing of the entire person and of every person.
“No profit is in fact legitimate when it falls short of the objective of the integral promotion of the human person, the universal destination of goods, the preferential option for the poor, and, we can add, the care of our common home,” he said.
After a few more remarks he concluded by thanking them for the meeting, expressed good wishes for their work, and blessed them, their families, especially their children, the sick, and the elderly. Then he dropped the mic and dipped out. I made that last part up but it would have been appropriate after that savage monologue let’s be real.