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Pope Urges Leaders to Involve the Poor in Post-Pandemic Planning

He says the poor must be allowed to participate in discussions that involve their livelihood.

Pope Francis has urged young economists, entrepreneurs, and economic leaders to involve the poor in planning post-pandemic development models.

In a forum of young people in Assisi, Italy, Pope Francis said that the poor should be invited to participate in discussions about creating a “different economic narrative” that he thinks is urgently needed. (Read: Pope Teams up With Charities to Distribute Pasta to Italy’s ‘New Poor’)

The Pope has also called on the young people to help mobilize change in production systems and consumption patterns to make them more sustainable. He said the worst scenario to happen once the coronavirus pandemic ends would be to “fall even more deeply into feverish consumerism and forms of selfish self-protection.” 

The future will be a “time that reminds us that we are not condemned to economic models whose immediate interest is limited to profit and promoting favorable public policies, unconcerned with their human, social, and environmental cost,” Pope Francis said. 

The Poor Suffered the Most

Over the course of the pandemic, Pope Francis has always been vocal about his concern for the poor as they have suffered the most during the health crisis.

Residents of Old Balara in Quezon City receive hygiene kits from personnel of Quezon City during their distribution last March 18, 2020. (Photo from The STAR / Michael Varcas)

In his message, the Pope said that more must be done than giving the most essential of the poor. They should be given acceptance and dignity to be able to sit, participate, and contribute in meetings and discussions that talk about their way of life and how they can provide food for their families.

Such an approach goes beyond welfare, Pope Francis said. (Read: Here’s Why Lolo Kiko Wants You to Help the Poor Amid the Pandemic) “We are speaking of a conversion and transformation of our priorities and of the place of others in our policies and in the social order,” the Pope said.

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