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The world is not only for the ‘perfect,’ Pope tells sick and disabled

June 13, 2016

As part of the extraordinary jubilee of mercy, Pope Francis celebrated Mass on June 12 for participants in the jubilee of the sick and disabled.

“We are familiar with the objections raised, especially nowadays, to a life characterized by serious physical limitations,” the Pope preached to the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “It is thought that sick or disabled persons cannot be happy, since they cannot live the lifestyle held up by the culture of pleasure and entertainment.”

“In an age when care for one’s body has become an obsession and a big business, anything imperfect has to be hidden away, since it threatens the happiness and serenity of the privileged few and endangers the dominant model,” he continued. “Such persons should best be kept apart, in some ‘enclosure’ – even a gilded one – or in ‘islands’ of pietism or social welfare, so that they do not hold back the pace of a false well-being.”

The Pope added:

In some cases, we are even told that it is better to eliminate them as soon as possible, because they become an unacceptable economic burden in time of crisis.

Yet what an illusion it is when people today shut their eyes in the face of sickness and disability! They fail to understand the real meaning of life, which also has to do with accepting suffering and limitations.The world does not become better because only apparently “perfect” people live there – I say “perfect” rather than “false” – but when human solidarity, mutual acceptance and respect increase. How true are the words of the Apostle: “God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Cor. 1:27)!

 
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