Msgr. Machado: Pope Francis, a gift to the Church against the globalization of indifference
by Felix Machado*

A brief reflection on the fourth year of his pontificate. A source of motivation for ministers, the Pope has brought people who had fallen away closer to the Church. We must fight indifference and poverty. Ecumenical encounter and evangelical mission in a suffering world.

Vasai (AsiaNews) - It will sound superfluous to say that Pope Francis is God's special gift to the Church. In my life, this has been true of all the Pope. Jesus, the Wisdom of God, gave the Church the gift of Peter and his successors. 

Pope Francis has brought a new vitality to the Church. He makes the Church loved by so many people who, had for some reason or the other, had distanced themselves from the Church. Pope Francis also has brought a renewed motivation for us the ministers (servants) in the Church and I feel happier and happier to be one of the chosen servants in the Church. The Joy of the Gospel, the Joy in the Family and Joy in being a Christian is more explicit in the Church. (Evangelii Gaudium, Amoris Laetitia Laudato Si')) And the world of today needs to see this joy more than ever.


The question of migration has become most serious in our times. Migration can be understood in its internal context, as refugees and more subtly, human trafficking. It is alienation of the human person and it is linked to the larger problem of poverty which is understood as economic scarcity and also as isolation, that is, loss and absence which leads to humiliation of a person. The question of poverty can be further linked to injustice, corruption, consumerism (when people are ensnared in a web of false and superficial gratification rather than being helped to experience their personhood in an authentic and concrete way), environmental degradation (Cf. Pope Francis, Laudato si, nn. 48-49), health and welfare of the human person from womb to tomb. Marxist analysis of capitalist bourgeois societies narrowly reduces commercialization and alienation of human existence to a materialistic production and ownership, that is, giving them materialistic foundation.

On 8 July 2013 Pope Francis visited Lampadusa, the port in Italy where the refugees arrive if they survive their journey. Pope Francis appealed to the world: “Immigrants dying at sea, in boats which were vehicles of hope have now become vehicles of death! This is happening all too frequently. I want to challenge your consciences lest this tragedy be repeated.

Pope Francis continues, “These are people who journey in hope of a better future. I expect a concrete change of heart in all of us. God’s two questions echo even today as forcefully as ever: 1) “Adam where are you?”, and 2) “Cain, where is your brother?” (The Holy Bible, Book of Genesis 3:9 and 4:9). When humanity as a whole loses its bearings, it results in tragedies like the one we are witnessing. The two questions are really directed to each one of us. These miserable brothers and sisters of ours are trying to escape difficult situations to find serenity and peace. Who is responsible for their blood? Nobody! That is our answer because we have lost the sense of responsibility for our brothers and sisters. We are living in a world of “globalization of indifference”. The “globalization of indifference” makes us all ‘unnamed’ – anonymous – without name! The globalization of indifference has taken from us the ability to weep for our brothers and sisters!”   

On the 30th anniversary of that historic gathering in 1986 at Assisi,  In September, Pope Francis travelled to Assisi for for the latest edition of an interreligious prayer for peace

Regarding Ecumenism Pope Francis has felt strongly that while we continue to hope for the full and visible unity we must not interrupt proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations and work jointly, untiringly and urgently to bring the mercy of God to our wounded world. He said to the Anglican and Roman Catholic pairs of bishops from 19 countries on 5 October 2016 during the Vespers in the Church of San Gregorio al Celio in Rome: “To work always and everywhere as instruments of communion is a great calling. It involves working for the unity of both the Christian family and the human family. These two goals are not only not opposed, but are mutually enriching. When, as disciples of Jesus, we serve together side by side, when we promote openness and encounter, and reject the temptation to narrow-mindedness and isolation, we are working both for the unity of Christians and for the unity of the human family. We acknowledge one another as brothers and sisters with different traditions but inspired by the same Gospel to undertake the same mission to the world. It would always be good, before beginning a particular activity to ask ourselves the following questions. Can we not do this together with our Anglican brothers and sisters? Can we not witness to Jesus by working together with our Catholic brothers and sisters?” The Holy Father continues, “The mission of shepherds is to help the sheep entrusted to them to go forth and actively proclaim the joy of the Gospel, not to remain huddled in closed circles, in ecclesial ‘micro-climates’ which would bring us back to the days of clouds and thick darkness…The Church is reinvigorated when she goes out of herself in order to practise and proclaim the Gospel on the byways of the world. (The ecumenical movement is) truly the fire of mission that made it possible to surmount barriers and tear down walls which kept us apart and made a common path unthinkable”.

Thank you Pope Francis. May God give you many years of service as the head in the Church. Pope Francis knows very well that it is Christ who is still the Head of the Church but the Pope's responsibility is also great and so we pray that God give him strength and courage to strengthen everyone in the profession of faith that Peter made.