by Hannah Brockhaus
Vatican City, October 16, 2021 / 9:44 AM
Speaking in a video call on Saturday, Pope Francis told members of grassroots movements that Catholic social education has useful principles that can help people of all faiths make the world a better place.
“The social teaching of the Church does not have all the answers, but it contains certain principles which, throughout this journey, can help to concretize the answers, principles useful to Christians as to non-Christians”, the pope said on October 16.
He said the principles compiled in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, a handbook of social teaching for the Catholic Church, are “tested, human, Christian.”
“I recommend that you read it, you and all social, labor, religious, political and business leaders,” he said.
Pope Francis delivered his message at the Fourth World Meeting of Popular Movements, held online on October 16. The last international meeting, in which Pope Francis also participated, took place in Bolivia in July 2015.
According to the US regional website, “People’s movements are grassroots organizations and social movements established around the world by people whose inalienable rights to decent work, decent housing, fertile land and land. food is compromised, threatened or outright denied ”.
Pope Francis compared popular movements to the Good Samaritan, and said those two things reminded him of the protests that have occurred over the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25. 2020, by police officer Derek Chauvin.
Protests against police brutality have been staged in the United States and other parts of the world in the wake of Floyd’s unjust death.
“It is clear that this type of reaction against social, racial or macho injustice can be manipulated or exploited by political or other machinations, but the main thing is that, in this protest against this death, there was the Collective Samaritan who is not fooled! ” Pope Francis said.
“This movement did not cross the road when it saw the assault on human dignity caused by the abuse of power. Popular movements are not only social poets but also collective Samaritans.
Francis encouraged the groups to also pass on to future generations “the same thing that sets your hearts on fire”.
“In this you have a double task or responsibility,” he said. “Like the Good Samaritan, to care attentively to all those who are struck on the way, and at the same time, to make sure that many more join together: the poor and the oppressed of the earth deserve it, and our common house demands it to we.”
He underlined several principles that can be found in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, “such as the preferential option for the poor, the universal destination of goods, solidarity, subsidiarity, participation and the good. common “.
“These are all ways in which the Good News of the Gospel is concretized socially and culturally,” he said, noting that “the Pope should not stop mentioning this teaching, even if he often annoys people, because what is at stake is not the Pope but the Gospel.
Francis said that we must rely on the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity to carry out the mission of the Gospel in a concrete way.
“These are balanced and well-established principles in the Social Doctrine of the Church. With these two principles, I think we can move from dream to action. Because it is time to act, ”he stressed.
He noted that he did not have all the answers to the question “what should we do?” But he stressed that a universal basic income and a shortened working day were two possible solutions to the unfair distribution of resources and labor.
“I think these measures are necessary, but of course not sufficient. They do not solve the root problem, nor do they guarantee access to the quantity and quality of land, housing and labor that landless farmers, safe homeless families and precarious workers deserve. Nor will they solve the enormous environmental challenges we face. But I wanted to mention them because they are possible measures and would point us in the right direction, ”he said.
He says that in the service of popular movements he sees the Lord making himself present.
“Jesus told us that salvation consists in healing the hungry, the sick, the prisoners, the strangers; in short, by recognizing him and serving him in all suffering humanity, ”he continued. “This is why I want to say to you: ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied’ (Mt 5: 6), ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God’ (Mt 5: 6). 5, 9).
Among those who participated in the October 16 video conference with Pope Francis was a group of refugees stranded in Libya, some of whom are survivors of torture and prison camps.
According to a video and information sent by a migrant to Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, the refugees staged a peaceful protest outside the headquarters of the United Nations agencies in Tripoli, Libya, for more than 16 days, demanding to be evacuated to a safe country.
In the video, the migrant says that he will participate in the World Meeting of Popular Movements “because our fight is everyone’s fight… for justice and fraternity”.
Pope Francis said: “In my experience, when people, men and women, have suffered injustices, inequalities, abuse of power, deprivation and xenophobia in their own flesh – in my experience , I can see that they understand much better what other people are going through. and are able to realistically help them open up paths of hope.
“How important it is that your voice is heard, represented in all places where decisions are made. Offer your voice in a collaborative spirit; speak with moral certainty about what needs to be done, ”he said.