People, life and dignity at the centre
Again, thanking the Popular Movements for being there to help them make things less difficult and less painful, the Pope expresses his hope this may prove to be a moment of change.
“My hope is that governments understand that technocratic paradigms (whether state-centred or market-driven) are not enough to address this crisis or the other great problems affecting humankind. Now more than ever, persons, communities and peoples must be put at the centre, united to heal, to care and to share,” the Pope writes.
He underscores how such a multitude of persons have been excluded from the benefits of globalization. They, he said, have been hit twice as hard from the harms produced by a society marked by the “superficial pleasures that anaesthetize so many consciences.”
“Street vendors, recyclers, carnival workers, small farmers, construction workers, seamstresses, the different kinds of caregivers: you who are informal, working on your own or in the grassroots economy, you have no steady income to get you through this hard time … and the lockdowns are becoming unbearable. This may be the time to consider a universal basic wage which would acknowledge and dignify the noble, essential tasks you carry out. It would ensure and concretely achieve the ideal, at once so human and so Christian, of no worker without rights,” says Pope Francis.
The three Ts
He goes on to point to the need to reflect on “life after the pandemic”. Its grave consequences are already being felt. This calls for an integral human development 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).
The Pope concludes with the hope that our sleepy consciences will be shaken, giving way to 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”, he says.
Finally, Pope Francis encourages the Popular Movements to stand firm in their struggle, caring for each other as brothers and sisters. He then assures them of his prayers and blessings.