Pope to Brazil's Social Week: 'May we see Jesus' face in the poor'

Pope Francis sends letter of encouragement to participants in the 6th Edition of Brazil's Social Week, which began Wednesday in Brasília, organized by the Brazilian Bishops' Conference, and seeks to build "a more just society where universal fraternity and social friendship are lived."

Mar 22, 2024

Social Week in Brazil 2024

"May we try to see in those who are forced to live in poverty due to social injustice the face of Jesus, who exhorts us not to remain indifferent, because, as He Himself said: 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'"

This was the invitation that Pope Francis addressed to the participants of the Sixth Brazilian Social Week, 20-22 March, in Brazil, in a letter he sent for the occasion.

The event was organized by the Episcopal Commission of Pastoral for Socio-Transformative Action of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB) with the theme, "The Brazil we want, the good living of the peoples."

A path towards a "Church in action"
In his message, Pope Francis praised the initiative and assured his prayers "for the good development of the meeting and for its fruits."

Since its first edition in 1991, continued the Pope, "the Brazilian Social Week aims to be a path towards a 'Church in action,' committed to breaking down the walls of discard and indifference, accompanying the poorest and those deprived of fundamental rights in their struggle for land, housing, and work."

In addition, the initiative, the Holy Father said, "proposes a new, more solidarity-based economy and the revitalization of democratic values that help to build a society in which there is true popular participation in the decision-making processes of the nation."

Land, house, work
In this sense, the Pope said he is grateful for having promoted, together with young Brazilians, the "Economy of Clara and Francis," as well as the call, addressed to the participants of the World Meeting of Popular Movements in 2014, to respond to "a very concrete desire."

The concrete desire, the Pope said, was "something that every father, every mother, desires for their children; a desire that should be within reach of everyone, but which today," he lamented, "we see, sadly, increasingly distant from being a reality in the lives of the majority of people: land, house, and work."

Pope Francis expressed his hope that the "Mutirão pela vida," a collective of representatives of the Church and the people on life issues, an initiative linked to the Brazilian Social Week, "may yield abundant fruits in favor of a more just society" in which "universal fraternity and social friendship are experienced."--Vatican News

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