08/26/2020, 11.26
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Pope: social inequality is an injustice that cries out to heaven

"The pandemic has highlighted and aggravated social problems". "When the obsession with owning and dominating excludes millions of people from primary goods; when economic and technological inequality is such as to tear the social fabric; and when dependence on unlimited material progress threatens the common home, then we cannot stand by”.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The pandemic has aggravated existing inequalities between people and nations. They are the result of a "social illness", "of inequitable economic growth" for which "a handful" of people "own more than the rest of humanity".

This "injustice which cries out to heaven", was at the centre Pope Francis catechesis at today's general audience - still held in the Library - continuing the cycle on the theme: "Healing the world", this week specifically “The universal destination of goods and the virtue of hope”.

“The pandemic has exposed and aggravated social problems, above all that of inequality. Some people can work from home, while this is impossible for many others. Certain children, notwithstanding the difficulties involved, can continue to receive an academic education, while this has been abruptly interrupted for many, many others. Some powerful nations can issue money to deal with the crisis, while this would mean mortgaging the future for others. ​​ These symptoms of inequality reveal a social illness; it is a virus that comes from a sick economy. It is the fruit of unequal economic growth that disregards fundamental human values.”

“At the same time, this economic model is indifferent to the damage inflicted on our common home. We are close to exceeding many limits of our wonderful planet, with serious and irreversible consequences: from the loss of biodiversity and climate change to rising sea levels and the destruction of the tropical forests. Social inequality and environmental degradation go together and have the same root (see Encyclical, Laudato Si’, 101): the sin of wanting to possess and dominate one’s brothers and sisters, nature and God Himself. But this is not the design for creation.”. " God has called us to dominate the earth in His name (see Gen 1:28), tilling it and keeping it like a garden, everyone’s garden (see Gen 2:15).)".

The “subordination of private property to the universal destination of goods, […] is a golden rule of social conduct and the first principle of the whole ethical and social order” (LS, 93). Property and money are instruments that can serve mission. However, we easily transform them into ends, individual or collective. And when this happens, essential human values are affected”.

"When the obsession to possess and dominate excludes millions of persons from having primary goods; when economic and technological inequality are such that the social fabric is torn; and when dependence on unlimited material progress threatens our common home, then we cannot stand by and watch. No, this is distressing. When our gaze is fixed on Jesus (see Heb 12:2) and with the certainty that His love is operative through the community of His disciples, we must act all together, in the hope of generating something different and better. Christian hope, rooted in God, is our anchor. It moves the will to share, strengthening our mission as disciples of Christ, Who shared everything with us.”

Francis reaffirmed that “the pandemic has put us all in crisis. But remember: we cannot emerge from a crisis the same. Either we come out better, or we come out worse. This is our option. After the crisis, will we continue with this economic system of social injustice and contempt for the care of the environment, of creation, of the common home? Let's think about it. May the Christian communities of the twenty-first century recover this reality, - care for creation and social justice: they go together… - thus bearing witness to the Resurrection of the Lord. If we take care of the goods that the Creator gives us, if we share what we possess so that no one is left lacking, then we can truly inspire hope to regenerate a healthier and more equitable world.”

In a greeting to the Poles,  Pope Francis recalled that today the Church in Poland celebrates the solemnity of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa, he invited us to pray "the Most Holy Mother, that she may intercede for us all, and especially for those who in different ways suffer from the pandemic, and bring them to a relief".

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