Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Feb 1, 2023 / 15:20 pm
In a meeting with Catholic Congolese charities on Wednesday, Pope Francis praised the work being done to assist those in poverty and emphasized the importance of Christian charity as an integral part of the faith.
“What causes poverty is not so much the absence of goods and opportunities but their unequal distribution,” the pontiff said at the apostolic nunciature in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He gave his speech after hearing testimony from representatives from various charities and meeting with some of the workers and people who receive care from them.
“Those who are prosperous, especially if they are Christians, are challenged to share what they have with those who lack the bare necessities, and all the more so if they are members of the same people,” the pope continued. “This is not a matter of benevolence, but of justice. It is not philanthropy, but faith. For, as Scripture says, ‘Faith without works is dead.’”
The pope emphasized that charity, in the Christian sense, is about raising people “back up to their dignity” rather than treating those in need like statistics. He expressed gratitude that the people who do this work “are able to see Jesus in the least of his brothers and sisters.”