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The courage of fraternity

· Benedict XVI to Italian Caritas ·

Economic crisis, weakening of families, uncertainty facing youth, require concrete acts of hope

The global economic crisis requires, “the courage of fraternity,” said the Pope on Thursday morning, November 24th, receiving in audience the participants at the Italian Caritas conference on the 40th anniversary of their founding. According to the Pontiff, the current, “gap between the north and south of the world, and the wounded the human dignity of so many people,” indicate a need today for, “charity able to expand in concentric circles from small economic systems to large ones.”

Benedict XVI is particularly concerned with, “an increasing poverty, the weakening of families, and the uncertainty faced by the young,” but also for the dramatic consequences of natural disasters and wars, especially concerning the, “vast world of migration.” Phenomena which indicate, according to the Pope, the concrete “risk of diminishing hope.”

Humanity, Benedict XVI said, “needs not only benefactors, but also humble and practical people who, like Jesus, stand next to their brothers and sisters, and share some of their burden.” In other words, “humanity is looking for signs of hope.” Thus the need to not lose sight of the true, “source of hope,” which, “is in the Lord.” This is why, the Pope said, “We need Caritas; not to delegate it with the responsibility for charitable service, but that it may be a sign of the charity of Christ, a sign which brings hope.”

The Pope asked the workers and volunteers of Caritas to help the Church, “to make the love of God visible,” amongst those most in need, animated by the knowledge that, “the Christian distinction,” is, “faith which is worked through charity.”

“Live gratuitousness,” the Pope said, “and help others to live it. Call everyone to the essentiality of love which is shown through service. Accompany those brothers and sisters who are weakest. Animate Christian communities. Tell the world about the word of love that comes from God. Look to charity as the synthesis of all of the charisms of the Spirit.” The Church’s activity, the Pope said, “does not seek to substitute, even less to assuage, the collective and civil conscience, but accompanies them in a spirit of sincere collaboration and with due concern for autonomy and subsidiarity.”

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 17, 2019

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