“Economic Development” comes under the scrutiny of the council bishops in this section of Gaudium et Spes. It’s a brief section, stating again what should be obvious: that the dignity of the human person is paramount. It remains above the considerations of profit or technological development for their own sake.
Today more than ever before attention is rightly given to the increase of the production of agricultural and industrial goods and of the rendering of services, for the purpose of making provision for the growth of population and of satisfying the increasing desires of the human race. Therefore, technical progress, an inventive spirit, an eagerness to create and to expand enterprises, the application of methods of production, and the strenuous efforts of all who engage in production–in a word, all the elements making for such development–must be promoted. The fundamental finality of this production is not the mere increase of products nor profit or control but rather the service of (people), and indeed of the whole (person) with regard for the full range of … material needs and the demands of (an) intellectual, moral, spiritual, and religious life; this applies to every (person) whatsoever and to every group of (people), of every race and of every part of the world. Consequently, economic activity is to be carried on according to its own methods and laws within the limits of the moral order, (Cf. Pius XI, encyclical letter Quadragesimo Anno: AAS 23 (1931), p. 190 ff; Pius XII, address of March 23, 1952: AAS 44 (1952), p. 276 ff; John XXIII, encyclical letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (19ffl), p. 450; Vatican Council II, Decree on the Media of Social Communication, Chapter I, n. 6 AAS 56 (1964), p. 147.) so that God’s plan for (humankind) may be realized. (Cf. Matt. 16:26, Luke 16:1-31, Col. 3:17)