Pope’s Message for Poor also for people struggling financially during Covid
A senior Vatican official has acknowledged that amid the pandemic, the term ‘poor’ may apply to more people.
TO all those struggling, to those who may not have been ‘poor’ nor had months ago considered themselves ‘poor’, Pope Francis’ Message for the World Day of the Poor, is meant equally for them.
This is was what Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, expressed during the press conference presenting the Pope’s Message for the IV World Day of the Poor, observed on November 15, 2020, on the theme “Extend your hand to the poor ”( Sir 7:32).
He was responding to a question about whether this message now applies to a wider group of ‘poor’, in light of the hard times, hitting those who were considered ‘middle class’, in European countries or others like the United States, who may have lost their work or are working less.
“Certainly,” Archbishop Fisichella responded, noting “the Pope says the faces of the poor are growing in an extreme fashion.”
The Vatican official reflected on how the images Pope Francis has given us of poverty are very significant, especially that of one’s face, “because it is the face that shows the identity of a person.”
“No one takes another’s face. The ‘face’ is not something one can change,” the Italian prelate recognized, saying: “The face remains as the tangible, visible expression of who each one of us is.”
“It is sufficient to leave this room, this hall, to verify and see with one’s one eyes and hands how many stores and places are closed,” the Italian Archbishop acknowledged.
“How many shades and blinds are completely down, places completely closed up,” he decried.
“It is a sadness to see right here, in the center of Rome,” he said, “a scene that doesn’t do other than confirm that which you are asking, that is to say, without the certainty of work, the dignity of the person is compromised.”
Without certainty of having work, or with absence of work, he said, the various types of poverty expand.
“It is therefore inevitable that this message of Pope Francis along with the World Day for the Poor in November,” Archbishop Fisichella noted, “will have to have a particular attention for these situations, for which, before, we had not been particularly concerned.”
The Archbishop also remembered the “very concrete gesture” Pope Francis made as Bishop of Rome, for his own Diocese, instituting a fund, essentially donating 1 million Euro to Caritas Roma, to help those in need.
“This gesture brought a form of solidarity,” which–he said– “as a small sign” shows how the Christian community wish to help, and work to show a sense of urgency and immediacy needed to confront and respond to these crises.
Another question addressed how the crisis in some ways has created a further imbalance between the many who get poorer and the few who get richer. An Italian journalist asked how the Vatican can work against this, especially a potential vaccine not contributing further to this imbalance.
Archbishop Fisichella acknowledged the risk and danger of this injustice, while also reiterating the trust that the Church has in science and the scientists: “a trust because science and faith cannot be one against the other.”
The Archbishop stressed that the Church and science must always work together “toward the common good.”
“Faith,” he said, “gives a contribution of soliciting an “ethical” principle.” This call to ethics, he stressed, helps science know it cannot perform its work properly if it is partial or has special interests.
“Ethics must work toward the good of everyone,” the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization stressed, underscoring: “The image of God is the same for everyone, and is imprinted on every man and woman, and every child present in this world.”