http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/letters/2020/documents/papa-francesco_20200412_lettera-movimentipopolari.html April 2020
On Easter Sunday Pope Francis once again addressed a letter to popular movements and grassroots organizations. The link for his complete letter is below after the following paragraphs cited from his letter.
“In these days of great anxiety and hardship, many have used war-like metaphors to refer to the pandemic we are experiencing. If the struggle against COVID-19 is a war, then you are truly an invisible army, fighting in the most dangerous trenches; an army whose only weapons are solidarity, hope, and community spirit, all revitalizing at a time when no one can save themselves alone. As I told you in our meetings, to me you are social poets because, from the forgotten peripheries where you live, you create admirable solutions for the most pressing problems afflicting the marginalized.
I know that you nearly never receive the recognition that you deserve, because you are truly invisible to the system. Market solutions do not reach the peripheries, and State protection is hardly visible there. Nor do you have the resources to substitute for its functioning. You are looked upon with suspicion when through community organization you try to move beyond philanthropy or when, instead of resigning and hoping to catch some crumbs that fall from the table of economic power, you claim your rights. You often feel rage and powerlessness at the sight of persistent inequalities and when any excuse at all is sufficient for maintaining those privileges. Nevertheless, you do not resign yourselves to complaining: you roll up your sleeves and keep working for your families, your communities, and the common good. Your resilience helps me, challenges me, and teaches me a great deal.”
“Moreover, I urge you to reflect on “life after the pandemic,” for while this storm shall pass, its grave consequences are already being felt. You are not helpless. You have the culture, the method, and most of all, the wisdom that are kneaded with the leaven of feeling the suffering of others as your own. I want all of us to think about the project of integral human development that we long for and that is based on the central role and initiative of the people in all their diversity, as well as on universal access to those three Ts that you defend: Trabajo (work), Techo (housing), and Tierra (land and food). I hope that this time of danger will free us from operating on automatic pilot, shake our sleepy consciences and allow a humanist and ecological conversion that puts an end to the idolatry of money and places human life and dignity at the centre. Our civilization — so competitive, so individualistic, with its frenetic rhythms of production and consumption, its extravagant luxuries, its disproportionate profits for just a few — needs to downshift, take stock, and renew itself. You are the indispensable builders of this change that can no longer be put off”.
One thought on “Pope Francis’ Easter Address to Popular Movements and Grassroots Organizations”
The pandemic has truly taken a grand effect on everyone, and has rocked businesses and people alike. This speech by pope Francis reminds us not only of the hardship we all face but what is to come, and our need for preparation, but most of all, hope. He speaks about the selflessness of these organizations and people, and their willingness to do whatever possible to help our struggling communities. He recognizes and applauds them for doing the work to help us all during this time, and despite it seeming bleak now, he continues to remind us that the storm will pass. I do think that the pandemic has changed me and others for the better, since it has given us more time to truly reflect on ourselves and our community. It has given us time out of our fast paced lives to look at our world more in depth, and help us make the world better. Despite the toughness of the pandemic, we are slowly but surely making it through, and in this Easter speech, the pope addresses this. He also refers to the renewal of our fast paced society, and I think that is one thing that we are beginning to do; renew ourselves after this long sleep. We’ve been stuck ignoring the issues around us for so long, yet this time has brought light to various struggles. Though we may feel powerless now, with so many people trying to contribute to the greater good, we can make it through. Pope Francis addresses our “sleep consciences” that have now been awakened through the pandemic, and I believe that now we will be more self aware than ever.