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Pope Gives Davos His Blessing in Message on Wealth Distribution

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Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Pope Francis blessed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in a letter that urged the participants to push for greater wealth distribution and remedies to include those left behind.

“We must recognize the fundamental role that modern business activity has had” in improving global well-being, Francis said in the message, which was sent by e-mail today. “Nonetheless, the successes which have been achieved, even if they have reduced poverty for a great number of people, often have led to a widespread social exclusion.”

The Roman Catholic leader won’t be attending the forum this week. The Argentinian pope, elected last year, is making the gap between rich and poor a focus of his pontificate. In November, he condemned “trickle down” economic theories, saying it’s incorrect to assume policies that help the rich will eventually help the poor.

Francis, 77, called on leaders to create the conditions for greater employment and a “better distribution of wealth” in today’s letter. He also said it was “intolerable” that thousands die from hunger every day.

“I hope that you may see in these brief words a sign of my pastoral concern and a constructive contribution,” Francis said. “I invoke divine blessings on you and the participants of the Forum, as well as on your families and all your work.”

The message was distributed in English and Italian with translations into German and the pope’s native Spanish.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in Rome at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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