Pope Francis tells Judges "You have an essential role...be protagonists in the transformation of the judicial system based on courage, justice

Pope Francis closed the Pan-American Judges' Summit on Social Rights and Franciscan Doctrine, organized by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences warning against injustice. At the conclusion of the “Pan-American Judges' Summit on Social Rights and Franciscan Doctrine” in the Vatican, Pope Francis addressed the over 100 magistrates exhorting them to commit to defending social rights. ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS FATHER FRANCIS

Casina Pío IV
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a cause for joy and hope to meet you at this Summit where you have given an appointment that is not limited to you, but evokes the work that you do jointly with lawyers, advisers, prosecutors, defenders, officials, and It also evokes your peoples with the desire and sincere search to guarantee that justice, and especially social justice, can reach everyone. Your mission, noble and heavy, asks to consecrate oneself to the service of justice and the common good with the constant call for the rights of the people and especially the most vulnerable to be respected and guaranteed. In this way, you help the States not to renounce their highest and primary function: to take charge of the common good of their people. «Experience teaches that -John XXIII pointed out- when there is a lack of appropriate action by the public authorities in the economic, political or cultural fields, a greater number of inequalities in sectors is produced among citizens, especially in our time. more extensive, resulting in the rights and duties of the human person lack all practical effectiveness "(Letter enc Pacem in terris, 63).

I welcome this initiative to meet, as well as the one held last year in the city of Buenos Aires, in which more than 300 magistrates and judicial officials deliberated on social rights in the light of Evangelii gaudium, Laudato si 'and the speech to the Popular Movements in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. From there came an interesting set of vectors for the development of the mission they have in hand. This reminds us of the importance and, why not, the need to meet to face the underlying problems that your societies are going through and, as we know, can not be solved simply by isolated actions or voluntary acts of a person or a country, it calls for the generation of a new atmosphere; that is, a culture marked by shared and courageous leaderships that know how to involve other people and other groups until they bear fruit in important historical events (see Exhortation Apostolic Evangelii gaudium, 223) capable of opening paths for current generations, and also to the future, sowing conditions to overcome the dynamics of exclusion and segregation so that inequality does not have the last word (see Letter enc. Laudato si ', 53.164). Our people demand this type of initiatives that help to leave any kind of passive or spectator attitude as if the present and future history had to be determined and told by others.

We have to live a historical stage of changes where the soul of our peoples is at stake. A time of crisis - crisis: the Chinese character, risks, dangers and opportunities; it is ambivalent, very wise this - a time of crisis in which a paradox is verified: on the one hand, a phenomenal normative development, on the other a deterioration in the effective enjoyment of rights consecrated globally. It's like the beginning of nominalisms, they always start like this. Moreover, each time, and more frequently, societies adopt anomic forms of fact, especially in relation to the laws that regulate social rights, and do so with different arguments. This anomie is based, for example, on budgetary deficiencies, the impossibility of generalizing benefits or the programmatic rather than operational nature of the same. I am concerned to note that voices arise, especially from some "doctrinaires", who try to "explain" that social rights are already "old", are outdated and have nothing to contribute to our societies. In this way they confirm economic and social policies that lead our peoples to the acceptance and justification of inequality and indignity. The injustice and the lack of tangible and concrete opportunities behind so much analysis unable to get on the feet of the other - and I say feet, not shoes, because in many cases these people do not have - is also a way of generating violence: silent, but violence at last. The excessive nominalist, independentist normativity always ends in violence.
«Today we live in immense cities that are modern, proud and even vain. Cities - proud of their technological and digital revolution - that offer innumerable pleasures and well-being for a happy minority ... but the roof is denied to thousands of our neighbors and our brothers, even children, and they are elegantly called "people in street situation. " It is curious how in the world of injustice, euphemisms abound »(World Meeting of Popular Movements, October 28, 2014). It seems that the Constitutional Guarantees and the ratified international Treaties, in practice, do not have universal value.

The "naturalized social injustice" - that is, as something natural - and, therefore, invisible that we only remember or recognize when "some make noise in the streets" and are quickly labeled as dangerous or annoying, ends up silencing a history of postponements and forgetfulness Let me say, this is one of the great obstacles that the social pact finds and that weakens the democratic system. A political-economic system, for its healthy development, needs to guarantee that democracy is not only nominal, but can be embodied in concrete actions that ensure the dignity of all its inhabitants under the logic of the common good, in a call to solidarity and a preferential option for the poor (see Letter enc. Laudato si ', 158). This requires the efforts of the highest authorities, and certainly the judiciary, to reduce the distance between legal recognition and practice. There is no democracy with hunger, nor development with poverty, nor justice in inequality.

How many times the nominal equality of many of our statements and actions does nothing but hide and reproduce a real and underlying inequality and reveals that this is a possible fictional order. The economy of the papers, the adjective democracy, and the concentrated multimedia generate a bubble that conditions all eyes and options from sunrise to sunset. [1] Fictional order that equals in its virtuality but, in the concrete, extends and increases the logic and structures of exclusion-expulsion because it prevents a real contact and commitment with the other. Prevent the concrete, or take charge of the concrete.

Not all leave the same place when thinking about social order. This questions us and requires us to think new ways so that equality before the law does not degenerate into the propensity of injustice. In a world of virtualities, changes and fragmentation -we are in the age of the virtual-, social rights can not only be hortatory or nominal appeals, but must be a beacon and a compass for the road because «the health of the institutions of a society has consequences in the environment and in the quality of human life "(Letter enc. Laudato si ', 142).

We are asked for clarity of diagnosis and decision-making capacity in the face of conflict, we are asked not to let ourselves be dominated by inertia or by a sterile attitude as those who look at it, deny it or annul it and move on as if nothing happened, wash their hands to be able to continue with their lives. Others enter the conflict in such a way that they remain prisoners, lose horizons and project in the institutions their own confusions and dissatisfactions. The invitation is to look directly at the conflict, to suffer it and to resolve it by transforming it into the link of a new process (see Exhort, Apostolic Gospel, Gaudium, 227).

Assuming the conflict, it is clear that our commitment is with our brothers to operationalize social rights with the commitment to seek to dismantle all the arguments that threaten their realization, and this through the application or creation of legislation capable of raising people in recognition of their dignity. The legal gaps, both in terms of adequate legislation and accessibility and compliance, set in motion vicious circles that deprive people and families of the necessary guarantees for their development and well-being. These gaps are generators of corruption that find in the poor and in the environment the first and foremost affected.
We know that the law is not only the law or the norms, but also a praxis that configures the links, which transforms them, in a certain way, into "doers" of the right each time they are confronted with people and reality. And this invites to mobilize all the legal imagination in order to rethink the institutions and deal with the new social realities that are being lived. [2] It is very important, in this sense, that the people who come to your desks and work tables feel that you have reached them first, that you have arrived first, that you know them and understand them in your particular situation, but especially recognizing them in their full citizenship and in their potential to be agents of change and transformation. Let's never lose sight of the fact that popular sectors are not a problem in the first place but an active part of the face of our communities and nations, they have the right to participate in the search and construction of inclusive solutions. "The political and institutional framework does not exist only to avoid bad practices, but also to encourage better practices, to stimulate creativity that seeks new ways, to facilitate personal and collective initiatives" (Letter enc. Laudato si ', 177).

It is important to encourage that, from the beginning of professional training, legal operators can do so in real contact with the realities to which they will one day serve, knowing them first-hand and understanding the injustices for which they will one day have to act. It is also necessary to find all means and mechanisms so that young people from situations of exclusion or marginalization can reach themselves to be trained so that they can take the necessary role. Much has been said for them, we also need to listen to them and give them a voice in these meetings. The implicit leitmotiv of all legal-social paternalism comes to mind: everything for the people but nothing with the people. Such measures will allow us to establish a culture of encounter "because neither concepts nor ideas love each other [...]. The surrender, the true surrender, arises from the love of men and women, children and the elderly, peoples and communities ... faces, faces and names that fill the heart »(II World Meeting of the Popular Movements, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 9 July 2015).

I take this opportunity to meet with you to express my concern for a new form of exogenous intervention in the political scenarios of the countries through the improper use of legal procedures and judicial typifications. Lawfare, in addition to putting countries' democracy at serious risk, is generally used to undermine emerging political processes and tend towards the systematic violation of social rights. In order to guarantee the institutional quality of the States, it is fundamental to detect and neutralize this type of practices that result from improper judicial activity in combination with parallel multimedia operations. About this I do not stop but the previous media judgment is known to all.

This reminds us that, in many cases, the defense or prioritization of social rights over other types of interests, will lead you to face not only an unjust system but also a powerful communication system of power, which will frequently distort the scope of their decisions, will question their honesty and also their probity, they can even judge him. It is an asymmetric and erosive battle in which to overcome it is necessary to maintain not only the strength but also the creativity and an adequate elasticity. How many times the judges face in solitude the walls of defamation and reproach, if not of slander! Certainly, it requires a great strength to cope. "Happy are those who are persecuted for practicing justice, because to them belongs the Kingdom of Heaven" (Mt 5,10), said Jesus. In this sense, I am glad that one of the objectives of this meeting is the creation of a Pan-American Standing Committee of Judges and Judges for Social Rights, whose objectives include overcoming loneliness in the judiciary, providing support and reciprocal assistance to revitalize the exercise of his mission. The true wisdom is not achieved with a mere accumulation of data-that is encyclopedism-an accumulation that ends up saturating and clouding in a kind of environmental pollution, but with reflection, dialogue, the generous encounter between people, that adult confrontation, healthy that makes us all grow (see Letter enc. Laudato si ', 47).
In 2015 he told the members of the Popular Movements: You "have an essential role, not only demanding and claiming, but fundamentally creating. You are social poets: creators of work, builders of houses, food producers, especially for those discarded by the world market »(II World Meeting of Popular Movements, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 9 July 2015). Dear magistrates: You have an essential role; let me tell you that you are also poets, they are social poets when they are not afraid "to be protagonists in the transformation of the judicial system based on courage, justice and the primacy of the dignity of the human person" [3] on any other type of interest or justification. I would like to conclude by saying: "Happy are those who hunger and thirst for justice; happy are those who work for peace "(Mt 5,6.9). Thank you.

[1] Cf. Roberto Andrés Gallardo, Social Rights and Franciscan Doctrine, 14.

[2] Cf. Horacio Corti, Social Rights and Franciscan Doctrine, 106.

[3] Nicolás Vargas, Social rights and Franciscan doctrine, 230.
Full Text + Image Source: Shared from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation