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Pope Francis warns us of the risk of getting a ‘stiff neck’ by looking away from suffering……

Society has slipped into a culture of indifference so pervasive that “our necks are going to get stiff” from constantly turning away from the suffering of marginalized people, Pope Francis said.

The pope’s prayer intention for this month of September is dedicated to “people living on the margins.”  In a video message, he lamented the “throwaway culture” of today’s world which prioritizes economic growth over the wellbeing of people.

“How is it that we allow a throwaway culture — in which millions of men and women are worth nothing compared to economic goods — how is it that we allow this culture to dominate our lives, our cities, our way of life?”  Pope Francis asked.

“Our necks are going to get stiff from looking the other way so we don’t have to see this situation,” he said.

The video released with the pope’s prayer message showed various realities of marginalized people, including scenes of poverty-stricken slums alongside bustling cities, persons with disabilities, the elderly and the homeless.

“A homeless person who dies on the street will never appear among the top stories of search engines or newscasts,”Francis said in his message. “How could we have reached this level of indifference?”

Pope Francis urged people to “stop making invisible those who are on the margins of society, whether it’s due to poverty, addictions, mental illness or disability.” Instead, he asked to “focus on accepting them, on welcoming all the people who need it.”

To counter the throwaway culture, Francis proposed developing a “culture of welcoming” which provides hospitality, shelter, love and human warmth to those in need.

The pope ended his message by soliciting prayers for those “on the margins of society in subhuman living conditions, that they may not be neglected by institutions and never be cast out.”

Thanks to Justin Mclellan & the National Catholic Reporter.  Thanks to Timur Weber for the photo. 

What are YOUR thoughts on the words of Pope Francis?  How stiff is YOUR neck?


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