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More must be done for unemployed, says Pope

By on Thursday, 2 May 2013

Pope Francis greets crowd in St Peter's Square (CNS)

Pope Francis greets crowd in St Peter's Square (CNS)

Pope Francis marked the Feast of St Joseph the Worker on Wednesday by calling for greater efforts to combat unemployment.

Speaking to more than 70,000 people in St Peter’s Square during his weekly general audience, the Pope said that the problem of unemployment is “very often caused by a purely economic view of society, which seeks self-centred profit, outside the bounds of social justice.”

“I wish to extend an invitation to everyone to greater solidarity and to encourage those in public office to spare no effort to give new impetus to employment. This means caring for the dignity of the person,” he explained.

The Pope touched on the same theme earlier in the day during the homily at Mass before a congregation of unmarried teenage mothers and their children in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

In his homily, the Pope said unemployment “is a burden on our conscience” because when society is organised in such a way that it cannot offer people an opportunity to work, “there is something wrong with that society: It is not right. It goes against God himself, who wanted our dignity to begin with (work).”

The Pope recalled a recent “tragedy” in Bangladesh, where more than 400 garment workers were killed when the building they were working in collapsed. The workers reportedly earned just $38 a month.

“This is what you call slave labour,” he said. “We can no longer say what St Paul said, ‘Who will not work, should not eat,’ but we have to say, ‘He who does not work has lost his dignity’ because he cannot find any opportunities for work.”

During his general audience the Pope also made a special appeal against slave labour and human trafficking.

“How many people worldwide are victims of this type of slavery, in which the person is at the service of his or her work,” he said. “Work should offer a service to people so they may have dignity.”

The Pope also urged his listeners to remember the importance of prayer as the silent contemplation of Jesus and conversation with God.

The month of May, the Pope said, recalls the beauty of praying the rosary, which helps people keep Jesus “at the centre of our thoughts, our attention and our actions.”

“It would be wonderful if, especially this month of May, (the rosary) were recited together as a family, with friends, in parishes,” he added.

After greeting pilgrims from Poland, Pope Francis recalled the second anniversary of the May 1 beatification of Blessed Pope John Paul II. He asked the Polish seminarians and teachers present that their lives “be permeated by the faith, charity and apostolic courage of John Paul II.”

  • Peter

    The EU has kept the peace between warring Western European nations, principally Germany and France, for 60 years by locking them and their neighbours to a common future.

    Such a permanent solution to a continent plagued by centuries of internal warfare was a Catholic ideal. It was this ideal which inspired the Catholic founding fathers, devout men such as Schuman, Adenauer and De Gasperi, to create the European project.

    Peace – permanent peace within a war-torn continent – is a Catholic ideal. That is why the bishops and the Holy father support it.

  • An onlooker

    Sadly, if you are tempted into visiting this website regularly, then this is precisely what you come to expect.

    I continue to wonder how many people who come to this website looking for Christ are DEevangelised by what they find here.

  • Benedict Carter

    The EU hasn’t existed for 60 years therefore with your very first sentence you prove the idiocy of your statement.

    What has kept the peace in Europe is (a) the total defeat of the Axis Powers and (b) NATO.

    The EU has nothing whatever to do with it.

  • Benedict Carter

    Spot on Parasum. Each nation has its own space.

  • Benedict Carter

    Simple truth.

  • Julian Lord

    Absolutely correct, Ben.

    I would just *quibble* with The EU has nothing whatever to do with it — the statement is clearly true, though it must be said that the original 6-member EEC did at least contribute in its day towards the enduring peace in Western Europe.

  • Benedict Carter

    How, concretely?

  • Peter

    But I suppose it’s alright for you to be an immigrant in Dubai if that’s where you live.

  • Peter

    Recent “floods” of foreigners have been Catholics who have swelled the churches and whose children will be fully integrated British.

    Is there a connection between extreme traditionalism and xenophobia? Betweeen SSPX and UKIP? Are they two sides of the same coin?

  • Peter

    “And the sooner this country stops wasting money on “aid” to countries that abuse it (most of Africa), or don’t need it (India), the better.”

    Millions of under-fives – Christ’s little ones – die every year in Africa and India from malnutrition and disease.

    Perhaps the question should be: “the sooner this country gets off its backside and makes sure that the aid it gives goes to where it’s needed, the better.”

  • Benedict Carter

    I don’t live in Dubai.

  • Peter

    “What has kept the peace in Europe is (a) the total defeat of the Axis Powers and (b) NATO”

    You are falling for the “NATO” myth:

    First, Nato kept the external peace between communist east and capitalist west Europe, not the internal peace between Western European nations, which if you reread my post, you will note that is what I said.

    Second, with ending of the Cold War, Nato is largely redundant except for reassuring little former Soviet-controlled countries that they are safe from Russia. Eventually Russia may join the EU which would render Nato defunct.

    Third, Nato is a military treaty which can be repudiated or rescinded by members. European integration locks entire economies together so tightly that war is impossible. This is the achievement of the EU where war between the founding western European nations is not only unthinkable, it is impossible to wage.

    Remember, European nations have fought each other for centuries. The only thing that will guarantees peace in Europe in the future, when the WWII, the Cold war and Nato are memories, is the European Union.

  • Peter

    ECSC 1951
    EEC 1957

  • Peter

    “What has kept the peace in Europe is (a) the total defeat of the Axis Powers and (b) NATO”

    You have a distorted view.

    Far from keeping the peace, the defeat of the Axis powers gave rise to Soviet domination of half of Europe and brought the world to the brink of nuclear destruction with the Cuban missile crisis.

  • whytheworldisending

    There are families that have more income than they need because both the father and the mother have very well paid jobs, and there also are families that do not have enough money to live on because the father cannot obtain work. It is wrong of governments to pressure mothers to abandon their children to so-called “Childcare” in order to earn money they don’t need, if they have a husband earning more than enough already. For every wealthy double-income family, there is a family in poverty. Like any other resource, if we selfishly grab too much for ourselves, we deprive others of what they need. Children need mothers, families need fathers, and fathers need jobs. That is not to say that women do not need to work – the problem feeds on itself, so that poor women end up having to work for a pittance looking after children abandoned by wealthy parents in pursuit of greater wealth, BECAUSE the father’s job has been taken by someone who doesn’t really need it. It is greed that produces unemployed fathers and greed that keeps families in poverty. There are jobs to go around but they are not being shared equitably. Governments should encourage employers to have regard to applicants’ existing household income when making employment decisions.

  • whytheworldisending

    Children need mothers, families need fathers and fathers need jobs. A married mother with a wealthy husband who abandons her children into the care of strangers to earn money she doesn’t need takes a job belonging to a father and breadwinner and puts a family into poverty. For every wealthy double income family there is a poor family blighted by unemployment. This is an uncomfortable truth for many who delude themselves into thinking that you actually CAN serve God and Money.

  • QAX3kFmH

    Correct Benedict. Most Catholics seem to forget that money in it self is not evil, but the love of money is the root of all evil. They also seem to forget that we had saints in the past (as well as popes and cardinals) that were extremely wealthy. St Thomas More and St Louis IX are two god examples. Does this mean expectations are lowered when it comes to charity? No. Everyone from poorest rags to wealthiest robes should contribute into sharing.
    And Another thing is Jesus was no socialist. He did ask his disciples and the twelve

    to give to the poor but voluntary NOT State forced sharing that creates more suffering through it’s unrealistic standards.

    Jesus was no socialist. the only thing the left cares about Jesus (or any other religious figure) is by intentionally misinterpreting quotes in order to make the exception the rule and the rule the exception.