Pope Francis has pleaded for an “urgent” rethink of our mental and moral priorities to guarantee a sound economy and sustainable development for earth and the poor.

– Greater “conformity with God’s commandments and the common good”

The pontiff made the appeal today on Twitter, on the first day of the “Economy of Francesco” event he convened in May 2019 “to change today’s economy and to give a soul to the economy of tomorrow”.

“The earth and its poor urgently demand a sound economy and a sustainable development. Therefore, we are called to rethink our mental and moral priorities so that they are in conformity with God’s commandments and the common good”, the Pope wrote on the social network.

– Economies based on “contributing, sharing and distributing, not on possessing, excluding and accumulating”

Also on Thursday, the Vatican released a video message the Pope sent to participants in a virtual seminar on the coronavirus crisis in Latin America, entitled “Latin America: Church, Pope Francis, and scenarios of the pandemic”.

In that message, the pontiff appealed for “paths”, “processes”, “alliances” and “mechanisms” to “guarantee a dignified life for our peoples, especially the most excluded, through the experience of fraternity and the construction of social friendship”.

“When I say the most excluded, I don’t mean it as saying give alms to the most excluded, or as a gesture of charity, no, but as a hermeneutical key. We have to start from there, from every human periphery, from all of them: if we don’t start from there, we are going to make a mistake”, Francis warned.

“The COVID pandemic amplified and made more evident the socio-economic problems and injustices that were already seriously affecting Latin America as a whole, and the poorest most severely”, the Pope went on in his message, lamenting the “inequalities”, “discrimination” and “social injustice” suffered by our world’s most marginalised people.

Francis noted that not everyone is the world has the material means to properly protect themselves from the virus, and said that that fact “should alarm us”.

“Does everyone have a roof over their head? Does everyone have access to water? Does everyone have resources to sanitise and disinfect their spaces? Does everyone have a stable job?”, the Pope asked, repeating that “the pandemic made our pre-existing vulnerabilities even more visible”.

Denouncing that the poor in Latin America are suffering not only the “onslaught” of COVID-19 but also the “serious danger” to their ecosystems posed by natural disasters such as fires, the Pope warned that “the devastating effects of the pandemic will continue to be felt for a long time to come, especially in our economies, which require supportive attention and creative proposals to alleviate the burden of the crisis”.

As a way out of the crisis, the Pope proposed forms of social organisation “based on contributing, sharing and distributing, not on possessing, excluding and accumulating”.

“The pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in our peoples and the best and the worst in each person. Now, more than ever, it is necessary to regain an awareness of our common belonging”, the Pope insisted.

“The virus reminds us that the best way to take care of ourselves is by learning to care for and protect those around us: neighbourhood awareness, village awareness, regional awareness, awareness of our common home”, Francis explained, calling on governments to focus alongside stopping the pandemic also on addressing other social ills, including the lack of housing, food and work.

Insisting the “the path of solidarity as justice is the best expression of love and closeness”, the Pope closed his message with an appeals to leaders in Latin America “to continue to go out together with all people of good will in search of those who cry out for help, in the manner of the Good Samaritan, embracing the weakest and building… a new civilisation”.

More news on the Pope, on Novena:

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PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. University ethics lecturer with 4 years' experience in religion journalism.