10/28/2014, 00.00
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Pope: "No family without a home. No farmer without land. No worker with rights"

Meeting with the Popular Movements Francis asks for change in a system that is “an idolatrous cult of money and global indifference." We must "do so with courage but also with intelligence. With tenacity, but without fanaticism. With passion, but without violence." Jesus would call "hypocrite" those who want to face "the scandal of poverty by promoting strategies of containment that only convert the poor into domestic and inoffensive beings".

 

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - " No family without a home. No farmer without land. No worker with rights! No person without the dignity that works gives us".  This was the call issued by Pope Francis, almost a slogan for the meeting at the Vatican with participants in the World Meeting of Popular Movements (27 to 29 October 2014), organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

A festive atmosphere - one of the participants in the meeting was the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales - that gave the Pope the opportunity to say that land, home and work are "sacred rights" and that if the Pope defends them, that does not make him a "communist" because "love for the poor is at the heart of the Gospel".

The popular movements, such as the "cartoneros", to which as a Cardinal he had always been close, find themselves facing "the destructive effects of the empire of money." And the meeting of the Movements "is a sign, it's a great sign: It places a reality that is often silenced in presence of God, the Church". But the poor "will not settle for illusory promises, excuses or alibis. Nor can they wait with their arms crossed for help from NGOs, welfare plans or solutions that do not arrive or if they arrive" are "dangerous" seeking to "anesthetize or tame" the problem.  Jesus would call "hypocrite" those who want to face "the scandal of poverty by promoting strategies of containment that only convert the poor into domestic and inoffensive beings".

An economic system, focused on money exploits nature "to support the fast pace of consumption" and gives rise to destructive effects such as climate change and deforestation. "Because in this system man is driven from the center and is replaced with something else. Because money becomes an idolatrous cult, indifference becomes globalized". Because "the world has forgotten God who is Father and become an orphan because God is placed to one side."

The Pope urged the Popular Movement to change this system, to "build alternative social structures." We must "do so with courage but also with intelligence. With tenacity, but without fanaticism. With passion, but without violence." A "good program" is contained in the Beatitudes".

And in solidarity "means more than some generous, sporadic acts. It is to think and act in terms of the community. It is also to fight against the structural causes of poverty, inequality, unemployment, and [loss of] land, housing, and social and labour rights".

Pope Francis then examined one by one the themes of the meeting, starting from "land". Addressing the "campesinos", he said it was a crime that millions of people go hungry, while the "financial speculation affects the price of food, treating it like any other commodity." Hence the exhortation to continue "the struggle for the dignity of the rural family".

The lack of housing, also experienced by Jesus who was forced to flee with his family to Egypt, exists in "immense cities that show themselves to be modern, proud and vain," offering "many places" for a happy minority, but "deny a home to thousands of our neighbors, including children". And "in the world of injustice, euphemisms abound that a person suffering from poverty is defined simply as 'homeless'".

We live in cities that build shopping centers and abandon "a part of themselves on the margins, in the peripheries". He thus praised those cities that "follows a line of urban integration," which "favor the recognition of the other".

"There is no material poverty worse than the one where it is impossible to earn a living and without the dignity of work". Unemployment is not inevitable, but is the result of a "social option, of an economic system that puts profits before the person", a culture that rejects the human being as "a commodity." And those who are discarded are children and the elderly, and now it's even effecting young people with millions of unemployed, in some countries this is even over 50%.

Finally, the issue of peace. We are living, he repeated a piecemeal "Third World War". And "there are economic systems that must make war to survive". "How much suffering, how much destruction how much pain. Today, the cry for peace rises from all corners of the earth, in all people, in every heart and in popular movements: Never again war!".

Faced with all this, "Popular Movements - he concluded - express the urgent need to revitalize our democracy, so often sequestered by many factors." It '"is impossible to imagine a future for a society without the frontline participation of the vast majority" of the people. We must overcome the "welfare state" for peace and justice by creating "new forms of participation that include the popular movements" and "their torrent of moral energy".

 

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