Pope Francis was recently interviewed by British journalist and writer Austen Ivereigh. In this interview, our Holy Father speaks about our responsibility to the poor and our need for a conversion, two themes of the Laudato Si encyclical.
Pope Francis notes the “exemplary measures” a number of governments have taken to defend their citizens during the pandemic, but he adds, “we’re realizing that all our thinking, like it or not, has been shaped around the economy. In the world of finance it has seemed normal to sacrifice [people], to practice a politics of a throwaway culture, from the beginning to the end of life.”
Pope Francis continues “right now, the homeless continue to be homeless. A photo appeared the other day of a parking lot in Las Vegas where they had been put in quarantine. And the hotels were empty. But the homeless cannot go to a hotel. That is the throwaway culture in practice.”
The Holy Father states that, “every crisis contains both danger and opportunity: the opportunity to move out from the danger. Today I believe we have to slow down our rate of production and consumption (Laudato Si, 191) and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world. We need to reconnect with our real surroundings. This is the opportunity for conversion.”
“Yes, I see early signs of an economy that is less liquid, more human, but let us not lose our memory once all this is past, let us not file it away and go back to where we were. This is the time to take the decisive step, to move from using and misusing nature to contemplating it. We have lost the contemplative dimension; we have to get it back at this time.”
Francis emphasizes that if we don’t “go down into the underground, and pass from the hyper-virtual, fleshless world to the suffering flesh of the poor”, there will be no conversion.
Read more of the interview at https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-04/pope-how-i-am-living-through-the-covid-19-pandemic.html and https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/12731/the-pope-s-message-of-hope-for-a-world-in-lockdown
Something to ponder and pray on as we approach the Pascal Tridium.
Working together, we can help take care of our common home.