Pope Francis says "...from the Gospel, what God asks of us believers is to be God's people, not God's elite." on Social Rights of Africa and America - FULL TEXT
ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL VIRTUAL MEETING
OF JUDGES AND JUDGES MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEES
FOR SOCIAL RIGHTS OF AFRICA AND AMERICA
Dear judges from the African and American continents:
For me it is a joy to share with you this virtual meeting of judges who are members of the Committees for Social Rights.
At such a critical time for all humanity, the fact that women and men who work to deliver justice come together to think about their work and build the new social justice is, without a doubt, excellent news.
I think that in order to build, to analyze the idea of social justice from a full conceptual review, it is essential to resort to another set of ideas and situations that constitute, in my opinion, the bases on which it should be sustained.
The first has to do with the dimension of reality . The ideas that you will surely work on should not lose sight of the distressing picture in which a small part of humanity lives in opulence, while an increasingly numerous number is unknown dignity and their dignity is ignored or violated. most elementary rights. We cannot think disconnected from reality. And this is a reality that you must bear in mind.
The second refers us to the ways in which justice is created . I think of a collective work, a joint work, where all well-intentioned people challenge utopia and assume that, as well as good and love, fairness is a task that has to be conquered every day, because the imbalance is a temptation of every minute. That is why every day is a conquest.
But it's not just about coming together to shape that new social justice. It is necessary to do it with an attitude of commitment , following the path of the Good Samaritan. And that is the third paradigm to keep in mind, recognizing the frequent temptation to ignore others, especially the weakest. We have to assume that we have become used to sidestepping, to ignoring situations until they hit us directly. Unconditional commitment is taking charge of the other's pain and not slipping into a culture of indifference. That everyday of looking the other way.
I cannot fail to mention, as a fundamental part of this construction of social justice, the idea of history as the guiding axis. And this is the fourth and obligatory reflection for those who intend to erect a new social justice for our planet, thirsty for dignity: to add to the proposal the perspective of the past, that is, historical, a historical reflection. There are the struggles, the triumphs and the defeats. There is the blood of those who gave their lives for a full and integrated humanity. In the past are all the roots of experiences, also those of that social justice that today we want to rethink, make grow and enhance.
And it is very difficult to build social justice without relying on the people. In other words, history takes us to the people, the towns. It will be a much easier task if we incorporate the gratuitous, pure and simple desire of wanting to be a people, without pretending to be an enlightened elite, but a people, being constant and tireless in the work of including, integrating and lifting up the fallen. The people are the fifth base to build social justice. And, from the Gospel, what God asks of us believers is to be God's people, not God's elite. Because those who go the way of the "elite of God", end up in the so-known elitist clericalisms that, out there, work for the people, but nothing with the people, without feeling like a people.
And finally, I suggest that, when rethinking the idea of social justice, do so with solidarity and fairness . Solidarity in fighting against the structural causes of poverty, inequality, lack of work, land and housing. Roof, land and work, the three "T" that anoint us worthy. Fighting, in short, against those who deny social and labor rights. Fighting against that culture that leads to use others, to enslave others, and ends up taking away the dignity of others. Do not forget that solidarity, understood in its deepest sense, is a way of making history.
Righteous are those who do justice. Just knowing that, when deciding on the law, we give essential things to the poor, we do not give them our things, nor that of third parties, but we give them back what is theirs. We have lost many times this idea of giving back what belongs to them.
Let us build the new social justice assuming that the Christian tradition never recognized the right to private property as absolute and untouchable and always emphasized the social function in any of its forms.
The property right is a secondary natural right derived from the right that everyone has, born of the universal destiny of created goods. There is no social justice that can be based on inequity, which involves the concentration of wealth.
Dear judges and judges, I wish you an excellent day of reflection. I also hope that everything you build on social justice is more than a mere theory, but rather a new and urgent judicial practice, which will help humanity, in the very near future, be integrated in fullness and peace.
I wish you the best. God bless you.