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Pope at audience: “To emerge better from a crisis responsibility must be shared”

Implementing the “principle of subsidiarity” means “sharing responsibilities” and “letting everyone speak”, Pope Francis said in today’s General Audience in the Courtyard of Saint Damasus courtyard. His Holiness exhorted to embrace “the excluded” without trying “to reconstruct the past”: “the past is the past, let’s look forward to new things”, including the post-pandemic

foto SIR/Marco Calvarese

“Let everyone speak! This is how the principle of subsidiarity works”, which entails “shared responsibility” to emerge from the crisis. But “today, this lack of respect of the principle of subsidiarity has spread like a virus”, the Pope denounced in today’s General audience at the Courtyard of Saint Damasus before some 500 faithful. “Let’s think of the grand financial assistance measures enacted by States”, Francis remarked: “Multinational companies are listened to more than social movements. Putting it in everyday language, they listen more to the powerful than to the weak,” also in the approach to the cure to the virus, the Pope said referring to the ongoing pandemic.

“the large pharmaceutical companies are listened to more than the healthcare workers,

employed on the front lines in hospitals or in refugee camps. This is not a good path.” “Everyone should be listened to, those who are at the top and those who are at the bottom” he said. For Pope Francis

“to emerge better from a crisis, the principle of subsidiarity must be enacted, respecting the autonomy and the capacity to take initiative that everyone has, especially the least.”

Francis recalled that the subsidiarity principle has a double movement: from top to bottom and from bottom to top. The reference is to Pius XI: “after the great economic depression of 1929” he “explained how important the principle of subsidiarity was.” “Either we do it together, or it won’t work. Either we work together to emerge from the crisis, all levels of society, or we will never emerge from it”, Francis said: “To emerge from the crisis does not mean to varnish over current situations so that they might appear more just. To emerge from the crisis means to change, and true change to which every contributes, all the persons that form a people. All the professions, all of them. And everything together, everyone in the community. If everyone is not contributing the result will be negative.” “Solidarity is the way out of the crisis”, but “there is no true solidarity without social participation, without the contribution of intermediary bodies”: families, associations, cooperatives, small businesses, and other expressions of society. “This type of participation helps to prevent and to correct certain negative aspects of globalization and the actions of States, just as it is happening regarding the healing of people affected by the pandemic”, assured the Pope. Hence, these contributions “from the bottom” should be encouraged, such as the contribution of the volunteers during the lockdown, with “the spontaneous gesture of applauding, applause for doctors and nurses began as a sign of encouragement and hope. Many risked their lives and many gave their lives.”

“Let’s extend this applause to every member of the social body, to each and every one, for their precious contribution, no matter how small.”

The Pope’s appeal:

“Let’s applaud the ‘cast-aways’, those whom culture defines as those to be ‘thrown out’, this throw-away culture – that is, let’s applaud the elderly, children, persons with disability, let’s applaud workers, all those who dedicate themselves to service. Everyone collaborating to emerge from the crisis.”

“But let’s not stop only at applauding!”, the second exhortation: “Hope is audacious, and so, let’s encourage ourselves to dream big. Let’s learn to dream big! Let’s not be afraid to dream big, seeking the ideals of justice and social love that are born of hope.

Let’s not try to reconstruct the past, the past is the past, let’s look forward to new things.

The Lord’s promise is: ‘I will make all things news’. Let’s encourage ourselves to dream big, seeking those ideals, not trying to reconstruct the past, above all the past that was unjust and already ill…. Let’s construct a future where the local and global dimensions mutually enrich each other.” “Everyone can contribute, everyone must contribute their share, from their culture, from their philosophy, from their way of thinking – where the beauty and the wealth of smaller groups, even the groups that are cast aside, might flourish –because beauty is there too”, the Pope concluded with unprepared remarks: “where those who have more dedicate themselves to service and give more to those who have less.”

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