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We’re too indifferent: Pope’s September intention is for people “thrown away”

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La Machi | La Machi

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 08/31/23

"Please, let’s stop making invisible those who are on the margins of society, whether it’s due to poverty, addictions, mental illness, or disability."

“How could we have reached this level of indifference?” This is the question Pope Francis asks in The Pope Video for the month of September, illustrating his monthly prayer intention entrusted to the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.

“A homeless person who dies on the street will never appear among the top stories of search engines or newscasts,” the Holy Father notes at the beginning of the prayer intention he shares with the Universal Church this month.

He asks us to pray this month “for people living on the margins” of society.

Those forgotten by the press

The images accompanying the Pope’s words show homeless people – alone or in small groups, at times almost stepped on by passersby – on the sidewalks of Canada, the United States, Kenya, Cameroon, and India; street children who spend their day washing the windshields of cars stopped at stoplights in San Salvador; people with disabilities in Spain, the Philippines, and Central America; shantytowns near skyscrapers in Vancouver, and near buildings in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.

Various types of people live on the margins of our society. Their numbers are much higher than we think.

In fact, according to the United Nations, more than 700 million (10% of the population) live in extreme poverty, facing major difficulties in obtaining basic necessities, such as healthcare, education, access to water and sanitation.

The UN also adds that around 1.6 billion people live in inadequate living conditions, including in the most industrialized countries. Similarly, reports from the World Health Organization reveal that one of every eight persons lives with a “mental disorder,” and that 16% of the world’s population lives with a “serious disability.”

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“Culture of welcoming” rather than a “throwaway culture” 

“How is it that we allow the ‘throwaway culture,’ in which millions of men and women are worth nothing compared to economic goods, to dominate our lives, our cities, our way of life?” Pope Francis asks.

The Pope invites us to “stop making invisible those who are on the margins of society, whether it’s due to poverty, addictions, mental illness or disability.”

“Let’s focus on accepting them,” he urges, “on welcoming all the people who need it. The ‘culture of welcoming,’ of hospitality, of providing shelter, of giving a home, of offering love, of giving human warmth.”

And so, he asks all believers to mobilize in prayer “for those people who live on the margins of society in subhuman living conditions, that they may not be neglected by institutions and never be cast out.”

The Pope Video is possible thanks to the generous contributions of many people. You can donate by following this link.

Tags:
Pope FrancisPope Video
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