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Pope challenges religious to embrace poverty, laity to go beyond charitable assitance

August 18, 2014

Following the Mass of beatification of 124 martyrs in Seoul, Pope Francis traveled by helicopter on August 16 to Kkottongnae, where he visited a rehabilitation center for disabled people.

At Kkottongnae, Pope Francis delivered separate addresses to the religious communities of Korea and to the leaders of the apostolate of the laity.

In speaking to religious, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of joy, God’s mercy, and the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. “The hypocrisy of those consecrated men and women who profess vows of poverty, yet live like the rich, wounds the souls of the faithful and harms the Church,” he said.

In his address to leaders of the lay apostolate, the Pope said that bringing “the Lord’s consoling presence to people living on the peripheries of our society … should not be limited to charitable assistance, but must also extend to a practical concern for human growth.” He explained:

To assist the poor is good and necessary, but it is not enough. I encourage you to multiply your efforts in the area of human promotion, so that every man and every woman can know the joy which comes from the dignity of earning their daily bread and supporting their family. This dignity is presently under threat by a cult of money which leaves many people without work.

We might say: “But Father, we are making sure that they are fed.” But this is not enough! The unemployed, whether men or women, must also sense the dignity which comes from providing for their household, of being breadwinners! I entrust this task to you.


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