By Robin Gomes
Pope Francis on Monday appealed for the defence and protection of the human person and of our common home. “Indeed, the human person must always be defended and protected in his or her integrity and dignity, whatever his or her origin or social status,” the Pope told some 51 members of the Pro Petri Sedem Association, whom he received in the Vatican.
The Association that is active in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, collects funds for the initiatives of the Pope and the Holy See. “Following in the footsteps of your predecessors,” he told them, “you participate in the missionary action of the Church which fights for the integral human development of every person.”
Culture of waste
In the unbridled race for possession, career, honour or power, the Pope said that weak and the least are sometimes ignored and rejected.
“In the frenzy of running, of achieving everything right now,” he lamented, “anyone left behind is viewed as a nuisance.” Hence the many elderly, the unborn, the disabled and poor people are considered a waste and useless.
This is the reason behind the Church’s preferential option for the poor and it relies on men and women of good will, imbued with the Gospel, to bring peace and joy of the Risen One to every person in need. This way, the Pope said, the Pro Petri Sedem, through its charitable contribution to the life of the Church, becomes the salt and light which give many people a taste for life.
Cry of the poor
Thanking the group for their support for the Successor of Saint Peter, Pope Francis pointed to the challenges that affect the human family and its common home. “The cry of anguish of people who suffer, especially from wars, displacement of people, poverty and degradation of the ecosystem, the Pope said is at the heart of their concerns. “It is urgent,” he said, “to put an end to the exploitation of the poorest!” “It is urgent that the atrocities in countries prey to wars and conflicts that drive so many people into exile cease!”
Pope Francis particularly insisted “on caring for our common home”, launching once again the call for “ecological conversion”. The Christian witness of Pro Petri Sedem, through generosity and attention to others, the Pope said, “invites us all today to fight against the generalized climate of individualism, selfishness and indifference, which threaten both peace among people and the environment.”
Pope Francis concluded urging members of Prop Petri Sedem to remain firm in their convictions and faith, and be a flame that brings hope to the hearts of men and women today.