“For this reason, it is impossible for the Church to separate the promotion of social justice from the recognition of the values and culture of the people, including the spiritual values that are the source of their sense of dignity.”
The pope said that politics is regenerated when the importance of spirituality in people’s lives is recognized.
“One way to ignore the poor is to despise their culture, their spiritual values, their religious values, either by discarding them or exploiting them for the purpose of power,” he said. “Contempt for popular culture is the beginning of the abuse of power.”
The pope also greeted the other conference partners, which include the Caritas Social Action Network, Boston College Law School, the Centre for Catholic Social Thought and Practice, the Loyola University’s Institute of Pastoral Studies, the Katholische Hochschule für Sozialwesen in Berlin, and the Anglo-Irish province of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
“The poverty and exclusion from the job market that resulted from this pandemic which we are experiencing have made your work and testimony much more urgent and necessary,” Pope Francis said.
“Many of you gathered here have been working for years doing this in the peripheries, and accompanying popular movements. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable. Some accuse you of being too political, others of wanting to impose religion. But you perceive that respecting the people is respecting their institutions, including religious ones; and that the role of these institutions is not to impose anything, but to walk with the people, reminding them of the face of God that always comes before us,” he said.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.