Vatican City, Nov 30, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Speaking on Psalm 71 in today's general audience in the Paul VI Hall, Pope John Paul II explained that because “the Lord is the guardian and defender of the poor and oppressed,” according to the Bible, violating the rights of the poor is “an act against God.”
The Pope said that the psalm opens with an "intense choral appeal to God to grant the sovereign the basic gift to govern and administer justice, especially with the poor who are often the victims of power."
"If the rights of the poor are violated, not only does a politically incorrect and morally evil act occur,” he said. “According to the Bible, an act against God is perpetrated, a religious offense, because the Lord is the guardian and defender of the poor and oppressed, widows and orphans, those who have no one to protect them on earth."
The Holy Father said that "it is easy to understand how tradition has substituted the often disappointing king ... with the luminous and glorious physiognomy of the Messiah...who will judge the poor justly and who will make fair decisions in favor of the poor of the land."