By Deborah Castellano Lubov

“How sad it would be if, for example, access to a Covid-19 vaccine were made available only to the rich, and not to others in equal or greater need!”

Pope Francis decried this possibility during his private General Audience, streamed from inside his Apostolic Library, as he continued his catecheses on healing the world.

Addressing English speakers on the current global pandemic, he reflected: “we have seen that it has made us sensitive to an even graver virus affecting our world: that of social injustice, lack of equal opportunity and the marginalization of the poor and those in greatest need.”

“Christ’s example and teaching show us that a preferential option for the poor is an essential criterion of our authenticity as his followers.”

Christian charity, the Argentine Pontiff highlighted, demands that, beyond social assistance, we listen to their voices and work to overcome all that hinders their material and spiritual development.

Our desire for a return to normality, he warned, should not mean a return to social injustices or to a delay of long overdue reforms.

“Today,” he said, “we have an opportunity to create something different: an ethically sound economy, centered on people, especially the poor, in recognition of their innate human dignity.”

“May the Gospel,” he prayed, “inspire us to find ever more creative ways to exercise that charity, grounded in faith and anchored in hope, which can heal our wounded world and promote the true welfare of our entire human family.

Cordially greeting the English-speaking faithful, he noted his thoughts turn especially “to those families who have had to forego their summer holidays this year; I entrust them to the Lord that he will grant them peace and joy.”

“May God bless you!” he said.

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POPE’S GENERAL AUDIENCE: Matthew, Chapter 25 – A Key Criterion of Christian Authenticity (FULL TEXT)

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