We are not condemned to exclusion and inequality, Pope tells popular movements
October 18, 2021
CWN Editor's Note: The Pope’s address to the 4th World Meeting of Popular Movements is significant for several reasons:
- his impassioned pleas, issued “in the name of God”—including pleas to pharmaceutical companies to release Covid vaccine patents, to financial groups to cancel debts to poor nations, and to extractive industries to stop polluting
- his statement that the principles he mentions are rooted in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (2001)
- his criticism of “indifference, meritocracy and individualism” on the one hand, and “any authoritarian mindset, any forced collectivism or any state-centric mindset” on the other: “the common good cannot be used as an excuse to quash private initiative, local identity or community projects”
- his reference to “the protests over the death of George Floyd”: “it is clear that this type of reaction against social, racial or macho injustice can be manipulated or exploited by political machinations or whatever, but the main thing is that, in that protest against this death, there was the Collective Samaritan who is no fool! This movement did not pass by on the other side of the road when it saw the injury to human dignity caused by an abuse of power”
- his call for serious consideration of “a basic income (the UBI) or salary so that everyone in the world may have access to the most basic necessities of life. It is right to fight for a humane distribution of these resources, and it is up to governments to establish tax and redistribution schemes so that the wealth of one part of society is shared fairly, but without imposing an unbearable burden, especially upon the middle class”
- his call for serious consideration of a shorter workday: “working fewer hours so that more people can have access to the labor market is something we need to explore with some urgency”
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