Fraternity is getting your hands dirty in the peripheries of the world like Jesus


Pope Francis greets the representatives of the World Solidarity Fund

To understand migrants, we must see ourselves. In addition, they must be integrated and should not be considered "as a stone in the shoe". A new economy rooted in people whose key word is solidarity is also necessary. Pope Francis told the representatives of the World Solidarity Fund.

Before celebrating the General Audience, the Holy Father received this morning the representatives of the World Solidarity Fund to whom he spoke spontaneously, after giving them the speech that he had prepared for this occasion. In thanking this meeting, the Pope told them that he likes people to be on the borders, on the outskirts. "Simply because Jesus went to the peripheries" to show the Gospel.

“The peripheries, be they of the body, be they of the soul; because there are people who are a bit comfortable but their souls are destroyed, torn: go with them too; there are so many people who need closeness”

The Pontiff went on to explain that "closeness is God's style", as can be seen from some religious expressions, regardless of whether they come from religious congregations or from Christians who separate to maintain the faith. Here he said that it is a "reissue of the oldest pharisaism." "Because they want to have a clean soul, but with this attitude, they may have a clean soul, but their heart is dirty with selfishness."

With the outcasts of society

In addition, the Pontiff encouraged them to "go to the peripheries, to find the people who do not count, the discarded of society", in this "throwaway culture" that we are experiencing, because it is precisely there where we must go as Jesus did.

As for the migrants who must be "welcomed, accompanied, promoted and integrated", the Holy Father reaffirmed that this path of integration into society. “It is not a charity, with the migrants, leaving them there. No. It is to take them and integrate them, with education, with labor insertion, with all these things”.

Integrate migrants

On the other hand, the Bishop of Rome recalled the tragedy that occurred at the Zaventem airport, carried out by a group of young Belgians, children of immigrants, not integrated, stuck in ghettos (this is the attack at the Brussels airport that left eleven dead, claimed by the so-called Islamic State, ed.). And he stated that "an unintegrated migrant is halfway there." “It is dangerous for him, poor thing, because he will always be a mendicant. He is also dangerous for everyone.” Integrate, Francisco said, migrants should not be considered "as a stone in the shoe", which is annoying.

See your own roots

To understand migrants, the Pope said we must see ourselves. Hence the need to always look at the roots. Regarding the situation in Europe, the Holy Father invited us to look at its reality, that is, that it was made by migrants; "And today, for serious development," he said, "you need migrants." He also spoke of the “demographic winter, in which there are no children, in which the future is increasingly narrow”, hence the need “for these good people to come, but they must be integrated! Integrate them. And for this reason he thanked them for what they do in their organization with them. "It's not alms, no, it's fraternity."

A new kind of economy

Alluding to his title, he told them that they are also looking for a new type of economy. And he added verbatim:
“The economy must convert. It should be converted now. We must move from the liberal economy to the economy shared by people, to the community economy. And there is a lot of work on this with young economists, including women”

A christian economy

In this regard, the Pope offered the example of the United States, where some women took a step forward when thinking about the economy.

“We cannot live with a model of economy that comes from the liberals and the Enlightenment. Nor can we live with a model of economy that comes from communism. What is needed, so to speak, is a Christian economy."

An economy more rooted in the people

Towards the end of his words, the Holy Father invited them to look for "new expressions of the economy of this time", after having mentioned the Italian economist and professor Mariana Mazzucato, who is the daughter of migrants in the United States. While in England, he highlighted the presence of another woman, along with a series of men who think of "an economy more rooted in the people."

Finally, Pope Francis encouraged them with these words: “Go ahead, get your hands dirty. Take risks. And look at the many peripheries: Southeast Asia, part of Africa, part of Latin America. Many peripheries, many, that hurt the heart. Thanks for your job. And pray for me, please. But pray for, not against. Thank you".

Keyword “solidarity” in the speech delivered by the Pope

"Its name, World Solidarity Fund, focuses on a key word: solidarity. It is one of the central values ​​of the Church's social doctrine. But for it to materialize, it must be accompanied by closeness and compassion towards the other , the marginalized person, towards the face of the poor and the migrant".

Create a more inclusive economy

In addition, the Holy Father highlights in his speech that the composition of his group with which on this occasion they represent the World Solidarity Fund is "significant", since "they belong to very different spheres".

“They work together to create a more inclusive economy, to create integration and work for migrants in a spirit of listening and meeting. A brave path!”

Integration and work for migrants

At the conclusion of his delivered speech, the Pontiff thanks them for the gifts they gave him on behalf of the migrants who participate in his programs in Colombia and Ethiopia. And he encourages them to continue advancing "in this commitment to support migrants and the most fragile people, pooling their talents".


Vatican News
scalabrinian spirituality 2023


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