09/09/2020, 12.10
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Pope: There are those who use the virus to seek economic or political advantages

The common good “duty of justice that falls on every citizen. And for Christians it is also a mission”. “Unfortunately, politics often doesn't have a good reputation, and we know why. This does not mean that all politicians are bad”. “Students and teachers, who have gone back to school these days, be the true architects of the future”.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis has once again warned that we can only emerge from the pandemic if we all seek the common good together, but "Unfortunately, we see partisan interests emerging. For example, some would like to appropriate possible solutions for themselves, as in the case of vaccines. Some are taking advantage of the situation to instigate divisions: by seeking economic or political advantages, generating or exacerbating conflicts.

The common good “duty of justice that falls on every citizen. And for Christians it is also a mission" this was the theme of which Pope Francis spoke at today's general audience, also held today in the San Damaso courtyard.

Walking along it, Francis stopped for a long time to greet the 500 people present - all with masks - crowded behind barriers. He blessed rosaries and other objects brought by the faithful, signed books and drawings, joked with a group of African nuns, invited to sing a song. And before starting his speech, he invited those present not to stand on top of one another, “do not pile up, stay on the chairs, so we avoid contagion”.

In his speech, continuing the cycle of catechesis on the theme: "Healing the world", Francis spoke of "Love and the common good".

“The crisis we are living due to the pandemic is affecting everyone; we will emerge from it for the better if we all seek the common good together”. " The Christian response to the pandemic and to the consequent socio-economic crisis is based on love, above all, love of God who always precedes us (see 1 Jn 4:19)." " I love not only those who love me – my family, my friends, my group – but also those who do not love me, who do not know me or who are strangers, and even those who make me suffer or whom I consider enemies. This is not easy!”.

Love, therefore, " comprises civil and political relationships (see Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], 1907-1912), including a relationship with nature (see Encyclical Laudato Si’ [LS], 231). Since we are social and political beings, one of the highest expressions of love is specifically social and political which is decisive to human development and to face any type of crisis (ibid., 231).)”.

“Health, in addition to being an individual good, is also a public good. A healthy society is one that takes care of everyone’s health.  A virus that does not recognise barriers, borders, or cultural or political distinctions must be faced with a love without barriers, borders or distinctions. This love can generate social structures that encourage us to share rather than to compete, that allow us to include the most vulnerable and not to cast them aside, that help us to express the best in our human nature and not the worst.”

" Conversely, if the solutions for the pandemic bear the imprint of egoism, whether it be by persons, businesses or nations, we may perhaps emerge from the coronavirus crisis, but certainly not from the human and social crisis that the virus has brought to light and accentuated. Therefore, we must be careful not to build on sand (see Mt 7:21-27)! To build a healthy, inclusive, just and peaceful society we must do so on the rock of the common good.[3] And this is everyone’s task, not only that of a few specialists. Saint Thomas Aquinas used to say that the promotion of the common good is a duty of justice that falls on each citizen.”

“Unfortunately, politics does not often have a good reputation, and we know why. But it does not have to resign itself to this negative vision, but instead react to it by showing in deeds that good politics is possible, or rather that politics[4] that puts the human person and the common good at the center is a duty. It is possible insofar as every citizen, and especially those who assume social and political commitments and positions, roots what they do in ethical principles and nurtures it with social and political love. Christians, in a particular way the laity, are called to give good example of this and can do it thanks to the virtue of charity, cultivating its intrinsic social dimension.

It is therefore time to improve our social love, with everyone’s contribution, starting from our littleness. The common good requires everyone’s participation. If everyone contributes his or her part, and if no one is left out, we can regenerate good relationships on the communitarian, national and international level and even in harmony with the environment (see LS, 236). Thus, through our gestures, even the most humble ones, something of the image of God we bear within us will be made visible, because God is the Trinity of Love."

At the end of the audience, Francis also spoke about students and teachers, urging them to pray - on the International Day for the Protection of Education from Attacks - "for students who are deprived of the right to education because of wars and terrorism" . Hence the appeal to the international community to "protect young students, so that the effort to guarantee them safe environments for training, especially in a health emergency situation, does not fail."

And, in greeting to the Arabic-speaking faithful, he exhorted: "In a society increasingly upset by great challenges that test contemporary man, you students and teachers, who have recently returned to school, be the true architects of the future ".

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