Pope Francis said Thursday that the poverty and exclusion from the job market caused by the coronavirus pandemic has made the work of Catholic groups that assist poor communities even more urgent.
“Going out to meet the wounded and risen Christ in the poorest communities allows us to regain our missionary vigor, because that is how the Church was born, on the periphery of the Cross,” Pope Francis said in a video message released on April 15.
“If the Church ignores the poor it ceases to be the Church of Jesus and revives old temptations to become an intellectual or moral elite, a new form of Pelagianism, or like the life of the Essenes.”
The pope sent the video message to the participants in the international conference, “A Politics Rooted in the People,” organized by the London-based Centre for Theology and Community.
The event is part of the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the anti-poverty program of the U.S. bishops’ conference.