Pope Francis: No Christian is exempt from aiding the poor

No Christian is exempt

In his message for the 6th World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis said no Christian is exempt from aiding those who are poor.

Francis called for members of civil society to uphold the values of freedom, responsibility, fraternity and solidarity, and for Christians always to make charity the basis of their lives and actions.

“Where the poor are concerned, it is not talk that matters. What matters is rolling up our sleeves and putting our faith into practice through a direct involvement, one that cannot be delegated,” the pope said.

This year’s message is themed, “For your sakes Christ became poor (2 Cor. 8:9)”, encouraging people to show solidarity with their brothers and sisters in need.

Francis instituted the “World Day of the Poor” in 2016. It is celebrated each year on the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time. This year it will be celebrated on November 13.

The pope noted that this year the day comes “as a healthy challenge, helping us to reflect on our style of life and on the many forms of poverty all around us.”

The pope underlined that it is not a question of approaching the poor with “a welfare mentality,” but of ensuring that no one lacks what is necessary.

He warned Catholics against laxity and inconsistent behaviour with regard to the poor.

He said: “At times … a kind of laxity can creep in and lead to inconsistent behaviour, including indifference about the poor. It also happens that some Christians, out of excessive attachment to money, remain mired in a poor use of their goods and wealth. These situations reveal a weak faith and feeble, myopic hope.

“Jesus’ words are clear: if we want life to triumph over death, and dignity to be redeemed from injustice, we need to follow Christ’s path of poverty, sharing our lives out of love, breaking the bread of our daily existence with our brothers and sisters, beginning with the least of them, those who lack the very essentials of life,” he said.

“This is the way to create equality, to free the poor from their misery and the rich from their vanity, and both from despair.”

In his message, Pope Francis also asked what more can be done to help the millions of people living in war-torn Ukraine and other conflict zones.

“What great poverty is produced by the senselessness of war,” he said.

“Millions of women, children and elderly people are being forced to brave the danger of bombs just to find safety by seeking refuge as displaced persons in neighbouring countries. How many others remain in the war zones, living each day with fear and the lack of food, water, medical care and above all human affections?”


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News category: World.