Italy – Real challenge of post-Covid-19 economy: Sister Smerilli, FMA talks about it

14 September 2020

(ANS - Rome) - “It's said that, after Covid-19, we have to start again. But are we really convinced that it is useful to restart doing exactly what we did before? In the work group I am part of, we prefer to use the verb 'regenerate', moving towards a transformation of the economy, the world of work and society, learning from what we have experienced. We believe this is the real challenge, after the trauma of the pandemic that has hit the whole planet.” Sister Alessandra Smerilli, religious of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, professor at the Pontifical Faculty of Education "Auxilium" and Councilor of State at the Vatican, talks about the challenge of the economy after the experience of Covid-19.

“What we're experiencing is a delicate and decisive period, which can be an opportunity for a positive transition, but which requires great changes: in the world of work, in the economy, in our own social organization, in our equilibrium with nature. The Pope asked us economists for concrete proposals to face these challenges, which have solid foundations, but also the creativity of the Gospel,” she says.

The direction in which the Vatican's post-Covid-19 commission is working is of a more sustainable economic model and integral ecology. For this reason, Sister Smerilli is also involved in the year of celebrations for Laudato Sì, five years after its publication. Starting from September 1st, day for the protection of Creation, until May 2021, the program of the year of Laudato Sì involves local Churches, religious orders, schools and universities, businesses and parishes, through events, seminars and discussions. Art will also play an important role: “The spirit of Laudato Sì starts with a contemplative gaze on Creation,” continues Sister Smerilli. “Art in this process is very important because it speaks gratuitousness, passion. It tells us that what moves us is the tension towards beauty, not so much the fact that 'we must' change behavior.”

A woman, an economist and a religious. These three aspects deeply distinguish Sister Smerilli's commitment. “I'm convinced that the female question is one of the crucial challenges of our time… There are skills that women have developed more than men, for reasons including cultural ones, which are especially suited to tackle the problems of our time. Renouncing this contribution would be like looking with one eye: the vision of reality is deformed.”

To face the challenges of the future, according to Sister Smerilli, it will be essential to focus on cooperation, rather than competition: “Pope Francis said it very well on March 27: 'Nobody saves himself alone'. This virus, an invisible creature has made it evident. It is essential to understand where you are going to take action to manage the transition. In this sense, the Green New Deal, the European project for the ecological transition of the European Union, can be an opportunity to create new jobs and, at the same time, to move towards an economy reconciled with the environment and nature, with human times and rhythms of work.”


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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