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Pope: Christian workers must feel at home in Church communities

Pope Francis meets with members of the Movement of Christian Workers, and calls for labourers to renew society through solidarity and work for the common good.

By Devin Watkins

The Movement of Christian Workers met with Pope Francis on Friday, as the Vatican-recognized federation of Christian labourers’ associations marks over 50 years of service.

The Pope thanked the group for their contributions to society in the aftermath of the Second World War, and reflected on the twin themes of purification and a new “planting season”.

“It is important not to indulge in self-celebration, but to recognize the Holy Spirit's action in the folds of your history, not so much in sensational events, but rather in the humble, everyday ones.”

Purification and conversion

Pope Francis focused first on the constant need for “purification” of every human experience, since we are all sinners and in need of God’s mercy.

He noted that our willingness to open ourselves to conversion is a sign of courage and strength, not of weakness.

“We must welcome the newness of the Spirit without putting obstacles in the way,” he said, “allowing young people to find space, and the spirit of gratuitousness to be cherished and shared, not losing the resourcefulness of the beginnings”.

The Pope encouraged the Movement of Christian Workers to find renewal in those beginnings and the Second Vatican Council’s exhortation for Christians to read the signs of the times.

Planting seeds of welcoming communities

The Pope went on to call for a “new planting season” as they look to the future in the wake of the pandemic and what he called the “ongoing Third World War”.

He urged the movement to work specifically on making Church communities welcoming for Christian workingmen and women, listening to their problems and desire for solidarity.

“Social inequalities, forms of slavery and exploitation, family poverty due to lack of work or poorly paid work are realities that need to be heard in our Church communities.”

Renewal in solidarity and subsidiarity

Pope Francis encouraged the Movement of Christian Workers to give voice to the voiceless and to worry “less about your enrolled members and more about being a leaven of justice and solidarity in society.”

No one, he added, should feel excluded from work, including women and young people, who deserve dignified remuneration for their labours.

The Pope also pointed to the Social Doctrine of the Church as a source of renewal.

“The principles of solidarity and subsidiarity, properly understood, are the basis of a society that includes everyone, discards no one and fosters participation,” he said. “Without subsidiarity there is no true solidarity, because we run the risk of not giving voice to people’s abilities and talents.”

Inspired by St. Joseph

In conclusion, Pope Francis invited the Movement of Christian Workers never to let their hope be dimmed as they seek to promote reconciliation and fraternity.

“May St. Joseph always inspire you to work with faith and passion.”

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09 December 2022, 12:26