Pope: Indifference is a sign of a desperate and mediocre society

On Thursday morning, Pope Francis met with representatives of INAIL, Italy’s Insurance Association for Industrial Accidents. In his address, Pope Francis thanked them for their commitment to building a society in which nobody is left behind.

The Holy Father began by noting that often, unjustly, the burden of an accident is “placed on the shoulders of the family.” “The last few months have also seen an increase in the number of female accident cases, reminding us that the full protection of women in the workplace has not yet been achieved,” added the Pope.

“Life has no price,” explaining that among the consequences of not investing in safety in the workplace is the increase in accidents. “A person's health cannot be exchanged for a few extra euros or someone's individual interest,” he said.

Pope Francis then went on to note that “the clear separation of family and work environments has had negative consequences not only on the family, but also on the work culture.”

Then, Pope Francis urged those present to “look into the face of all forms of disability that arise,” and not only the physical ones, “but also the psychological, cultural and spiritual ones.”

To conclude, Pope Francis asked that everyone be close to one another, helping to bridge the gap, “placing oneself on the same plane of shared fragility.” “The more one feels that one is fragile, the more one deserves closeness,” stressed the Pope, explaining that “in this way, barriers are broken down to find a common plane of communication that is our humanity.”

Pope Francis: Growing poverty requires action

Pope Francis has urged judges to combat poverty, saying its growth requires action. He did so in a video message he sent to the Pan-American Committee of Judges for Social Rights and Franciscan Doctrine on Wednesday, as he celebrated the creation of their new chapter in Paraguay.

“I am glad that in these critical and complex times of humanity, Social Rights and the Franciscan Doctrine are the inspiring basis of this new organisation.” Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Mexico and the United States, he noted, have already advanced with their national chapters, "generating important contributions and activities that contribute to consolidate the rights of those who suffer the discarding of the system."

The Holy Father said he took this opportunity to highlight their new commitment. “Growing poverty in the region urgently calls us to reflect and act. We cannot and must not accept poverty and hunger in nations that enjoy all of nature's bountiful bounties: clean water, suitable land, clean air.”

"It is very easy to explain in a university lecture that social rights are programmatic," he acknowledged, but in people's lives, "the time of realisation of these rights is the qualification of their own existence: the dignity or unworthiness of their lives."

"Naturalising the non-observance of social rights under the pretext of insufficient resources in rich countries," the Pope decried in his Spanish message, "is a serious fault that involves not only those who govern but also those who judge. Wealth is a gift to be distributed."
Need to combat poverty

"When poverty reigns in a naturally rich country," the Pope underlined, "structural injustice is realised," all the more so "because there is no possibility of development in marginalised communities."

When this happens, he admonished, "a few powerful people may emerge, but as a whole inequitable communities are doomed to failure and stagnation."

Pope Francis concluded by encouraging their work and urging them to commit themselves to promoting equality, development, and fighting poverty.


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