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Catholic couple donates hundreds of Thanksgiving turkeys in Brooklyn, Queens

Denver Newsroom, Nov 22, 2020 / 03:01 pm (CNA).- For one Catholic businessman in New York City, Thanksgiving has long been a time of sacrifice and generosity. For each of the past four years, Alphonse Catanese and his wife have donated hundreds of turkeys to needy families in the city.

This year, amid the toll of the coronavirus pandemic, the Cataneses have stepped up their giving to ensure the needy of Brooklyn and Queens still get a fitting Thanksgiving dinner.

"With the help of God, we'll continue to do it,” Alphonse told CNA.

When Alphonse was a kid, every November his dad would load hundreds of turkeys into a dump truck, pick up Alphonse and his brother from school, and together they would drive to brickyards and supply yards around Brooklyn.

They would visit all the people his father worked with throughout the year, give them a turkey at 12 o’clock on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Then Alphonse’ dad would release all his employees early so they could prepare to celebrate the next day.

“I could never figure out why we used to do this. One day we finally ask our father and he goes, ‘You gotta understand. It’s nice to help people and Thanksgiving is a special time of year,” Alphonse recalled.

Alphonse’ dad died in 2006, and Alphonse and his brother inherited the family business. Since his retirement, Alphonse has done real estate management and development and runs a company that does apartment upgrades and improvements.

“One day, I was sitting around and talking to my wife like, ‘Remember how it used to be this time of the year? We’d go crazy, pick up turkeys, put them in the dump truck, go out and take care of everybody?’” he said.

His wife suggested he revive the tradition, so he approached Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens— for whom he had done construction work in the past— to see what he could do.

Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens has hosted a Turkey and Trimming Giveaway for over a decade. Each person gets a voucher for a turkey and a basket of items such as dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, and stuffing to complete the Thanksgiving meal.

This year they’ve already distributed nearly 1,600 turkeys and 1,200 produce boxes to families in need.

In 2016, Alphonse and his wife Maria became lead sponsors of the giveaway, donating about 700 turkeys. They’ve kept that commitment every year since.

“Anybody can write a check or send a donation. But I gotta tell you, it’s truly a great feeling. You hand that person a turkey— the person will turn and look at you and they say ‘thank you.’ And you know it’s a genuine thank you,” Alphonse commented.

CCBQ has seen demand for its services skyrocket during the pandemic. A spokesman told CNA this week that many of the food pantries they operate year-round have seen a tenfold increase in demand since March.

CCBQ’s twenty food pantries are now serving twice as many families on a regular basis as they were last year, as more and more families turn to the charity for help. All told, CCBQ has served 1.2 million meals since the start of the pandemic, the spokesman said.

This year, the Cataneses stepped up their donation, despite the additional challenges wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to their regular 700 turkeys to Catholic Charities, the Cataneses also donated 200 to a local church.

While their commitment number to Catholic Charities was the same, the availability and cost of the turkeys was affected by the pandemic.

This year, Alphonse said they were forced to purchase larger sized turkeys than usual, at an increased cost. The reason? Smaller turkeys are flying off the shelves this year, making them harder to come by.
While many people are choosing to stay home and have smaller Thanksgiving celebrations this year, this actually means there will likely be a greater number of— albeit smaller— Thanksgiving feasts taking place across the country this year. People are buying smaller turkeys for these smaller gatherings.

For the most part, that shift left only larger turkeys available for Alphonse to purchase.

"On average they were 2-4 pounds larger," he explained.

Alphonse said his business took a revenue hit during the pandemic, since many construction projects ceased during the lockdown.

But he resolved not to waver from their annual commitment to donate the turkeys, recalling, "There are a lot of people in a position worse than us.”

Alphonse said he will often see the same needy people coming back year after year to get their Thanksgiving turkey.

"There's definitely a recurring need, and you see people who truly need it...This year we're going to help 900 people. It's a small amount compared to the millions of people that are in need, but from our end we're doing as much as we can.”

Alphonse said he is thankful that he is fortunate enough to be able to help so many people, and he encouraged others to help the poor as much as they are able.

"We take a lot of things for granted, like food on our table. But when you go to the sites at the various neighborhoods and people come out with a basket … you really see that people are in need, and they genuinely appreciate this.”

Pope Francis on Christ the King: Make choices with eternity in mind

Vatican City, Nov 22, 2020 / 06:37 am (CNA).- On Christ the King Sunday, Pope Francis encouraged Catholics to make choices with eternity in mind, by thinking not about what they want to do, but what is best to do.

“That is the choice we have to make daily: what do I feel like doing or what is best for me?” the pope said Nov. 22.

“This interior discernment can result either in frivolous choices or in decisions that shape our lives. It depends on us,” he said in his homily. “Let us look to Jesus and ask him for the courage to choose what is best for us, to enable us to follow him in the way of love. And in this way to discover joy.”

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. At the end of Mass, young people from Panama handed over the World Youth Day cross and Marian icon to a delegation from Portugal ahead of the 2023 international gathering in Lisbon.

The pope’s homily on the feast day reflected on the Gospel reading from St. Matthew, in which Jesus tells his disciples about the second coming, when the Son of Man will separate the sheep from the goats.

“At the last judgment, the Lord will judge us on the  choices we have made,” Francis said. “He only draws out the consequences of our choices, brings them to light and respects them. Life, we come to see, is a time for making robust, decisive, eternal choices.”

According to the pope, we become what we choose: thus, “if we choose to steal, we become thieves. If we choose to think of ourselves, we become self-centered. If we choose to hate, we become angry. If we choose to spend hours on a cell phone, we become addicted.”

“Yet if we choose God,” he continued, “daily we grow in his love, and if we choose to love others, we find true happiness. Because the beauty of our choices depends on love.”

“Jesus knows that if we are self-absorbed and indifferent, we remain paralyzed, but if we give ourselves to others, we become free. The Lord of life wants us to be full of life, and he tells us the secret of life: we come to possess it only by giving it away,” he emphasized.

Francis also spoke about the corporal works of mercy, as described by Jesus in the Gospel.
“If you are dreaming about real glory, not the glory of this passing world but the glory of God, this is the path to follow,” he said. “Read today’s Gospel passage, reflect on it. For the works of mercy give glory to God more than anything else.”

He also encouraged people to ask themselves if they put these works into practice. “Do I do anything for someone in need? Or do I do good only for my loved ones and my friends? Do I help someone who cannot give anything back to me? Am I the friend of a poor person? ‘There I am,’ Jesus says to you, ‘I am waiting for you there, where you least think and  perhaps may not even want to look: there, in the poor.’”

After Mass, Pope Francis gave his Sunday Angelus address from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square. He reflected on the day’s feast of Christ the King, which marks the end of the liturgical year.

“He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the fulfillment of history; and today’s liturgy focuses on the ‘omega,’ that is, on the final goal,” he said.

The pope explained that in St. Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus gives his speech on universal judgment at the end of his own earthly life: “He whom men are about to condemn, is in reality the supreme judge.”

“In his death and resurrection, Jesus will show himself as the Lord of history, the King of the universe, the Judge of all,” he said.

The final judgment will be about love, he noted: “Not on the feeling, no: we will be judged on the works, on the compassion that becomes closeness and caring help.”

Francis closed his message by pointing to the example of the Virgin Mary. “Our Lady, assumed into Heaven, received the royal crown from her Son, because she faithfully followed him -- she is the first disciple -- on the path of Love,” he said. “Let us learn from her to enter the Kingdom of God right now, through the door of humble and generous service.”

World Youth Day cross given to Portuguese youth ahead of international gathering

Vatican City, Nov 22, 2020 / 04:27 am (CNA).- Pope Francis offered Mass for the Feast of Christ the King on Sunday, and afterward oversaw the traditional passing of the World Youth Day cross and Marian icon to a delegation from Portugal.

At the end of Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica Nov. 22, the World Youth Day cross and icon of Mary Salus Populi Romani were handed over to a group of young people from Portugal by young people from Panama.

The event took place ahead of the 16th international World Youth Day, to be held in Lisbon, Portugal in August 2023. The last international youth gathering took place in Panama in January 2019.

“This is an important step in the pilgrimage that will lead us to Lisbon in 2023,” Pope Francis said.

The simple wooden cross was given to youth by St. Pope John Paul II in 1984, at the end of the Holy Year of Redemption.

He told young people to “carry it throughout the world as a symbol of Christ’s love for humanity, and proclaim to everyone that it is only in Christ, who died and rose from the dead, that salvation and redemption are to be found.”

Over the past 36 years, the cross has traveled around the world, carried by young people on pilgrimages and processions, as well as to every international World Youth Day.

The 12 and a half foot tall cross is known by different names, including the Youth Cross, Jubilee Cross, and Pilgrim Cross.

The cross and icon are usually given to young people from the country hosting the next World Youth Day on Palm Sunday, which is also Diocesan Youth Day, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the exchange was postponed to the Feast of Christ the King.

Pope Francis also announced Nov. 22 that he had decided to move the annual diocesan-level youth day celebration from Palm Sunday to Christ the King Sunday, beginning next year.

“The center of the celebration remains the Mystery of Jesus Christ the Redeemer of Man, as Saint John Paul II, the initiator and patron of WYD, always emphasized,” he said.

In October, World Youth Day Lisbon launched its website and unveiled its logo.

The design, which features the Blessed Virgin Mary in front of a cross, was created by Beatriz Roque Antunes, a 24-year-old who works at a communication agency in Lisbon.  

The Marian logo was designed to communicate the World Youth Day theme selected by Pope Francis: “Mary arose and went with haste,” from St. Luke’s account of the Virgin Mary’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth after the Annunciation.

In his homily at Mass Nov. 22, Pope Francis encouraged young people to do big things for God, to embrace the Corporal Works of Mercy, and to make wise choices.

“Dear young people, dear brothers and sisters, let us not give up on great dreams,” he said. “Let us not settle only for what is necessary. The Lord does not want us to narrow our horizons or to remain parked on the roadside of life. He wants us to race boldly and joyfully towards lofty goals.”

He said: “We  were not created to dream about vacations or the weekend, but to make God’s dreams come true in this world.”

“God made us capable of dreaming, so that we could embrace the beauty of life,” Francis continued. “The works of mercy are the most beautiful works in life. If you are dreaming about real glory, not the glory of this passing world but the glory of God, this is the path to follow. For the works of mercy give glory to God more than anything else.”

“If we choose God, daily we grow in his love, and if we choose to love others, we find true happiness. Because the beauty of our choices depends on love,” he said.

Cardinal Dolan: Stories of persecuted Christians should move hearts

CNA Staff, Nov 22, 2020 / 03:13 am (CNA).- American Christians must be better advocates for the world’s persecuted Christians, said speakers at a Thursday event featuring victims of persecution, religious leaders, and global experts.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York encouraged Catholics to think universally “about our brothers and sisters in the faith now suffering grievously simply because they sign themselves with the cross, they bow their heads at the Holy Name of Jesus, they happen to profess the Apostle’s Creed every Sunday.”

Earlier this week, Dolan was elected chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Religious Freedom, where he is likely to play a role in conflicts with the incoming administration of presumptive president-elect Joe Biden.

“We bishops in the United States have, as you well know, legitimate and ongoing struggles to protect our first and most precious freedom,” said Dolan. “But even our problems as towering as they can be at times and as ominous as the future might now seem, they pale in comparison, don’t they, to the ‘via crucis’ that is currently being walked by so many of our Christian brothers and sisters in other parts of the world who are experiencing lethal persecution.”

“If our common membership in the mystical body of Christ is to mean anything, then their suffering must become ours as well,” he said.

Dolan cited Pope John Paul II’s description of the present times as the “new age of martyrs.” Half of all Christian martyrs in the 2,000 year history of Christianity were killed in the 20th century alone.

“This 21st century, I’m scared, doesn’t seem to promise much better,” the cardinal continued. “This century, only two decades old, has already seen 1.25 million people killed around the world, simply because of their belief in Jesus Christ. And that threat to religious believers is growing.”

The Nov. 19 symposium, “Act in Time: Protecting Imperiled Christians in Ancient and Other Lands,” was hosted by the Anglosphere Society, the Knights of Columbus, the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, the Institute for Ancient and Threatened Christianity, and the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Most participants spoke via video.

Among the speakers was Mariam Ibraheem, a Sudanese woman who was arrested and charged with abandoning Islam. Under Sudanese law, she was considered a Muslim due to her father’s Muslim faith, despite the fact that she was raised as a Christian by her mother after her father left the family when she was 6 years old. She was also charged with adultery and sentenced to 100 lashes because her marriage to a Christian husband was not recognized under Sudanese law.

Despite being sentenced to death in May 2014, Ibrahim refused to renounce her Christian faith. Her young son lived with her in prison and she gave birth to a baby girl while in prison. After international attention, she and her family were released in June 2014 and they now live in the United States.

Dolan reflected on what American Catholics can do to help persecuted Christians.

“We’re members of one of the most richly blessed communities on this planet,” Dolan said. Though American Catholics show unity in defense of their own religious freedom, “we can’t stop there,” he said.

“We have to become advocates,” he said. “We need the enthusiastic backing of our people, not just our leaders. If we don’t have that, we’re not going to get too far.”

The cardinal cited Pope Francis’ reminder to conduct an examination of conscience on this topic. The pope encouraged Christians to ask themselves whether they are indifferent to Christian persecution or respond as if “a member of my own family is suffering.”

Among his recommended actions, Dolan said that believers should encourage constant prayers of intercession for the persecuted. Prayers for the conversion of Russia shaped Dolan’s childhood sense of life behind the Iron Curtain, and a similar “culture of prayer” in private and in liturgical celebration for today’s persecuted Christians could have an effect, he said.

“We also want to make people aware of the great suffering of our brothers and sisters using all means at our disposal,” Dolan said, commenting that he has asked pastors to speak on the issue and to include stories of present-day martyrs in their sermons. These stories are also fruitful for use in ongoing faith formation.

“Our experience defending religious freedom shows that when we turn our minds to an issue we can put it on the map,” he said.

Dolan praised groups like Aid to the Church in Need, the Catholic Near East Welfare Agency, Catholic Relief Services, In Defense of Christians, Open Doors, the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, the Knights of Malta, and the Knights of Columbus for their work to help persecuted Christians.

Other speakers at the symposium included Robert Nicholson, executive director of the Philos Project, and Chinese civil rights lawyer and activist Guangcheng Chen, who is presently the Distinguished Fellow for the Center for Human Rights at The Catholic University of America.

Chen has defended women and families against the Chinese government’s forced sterilization and abortion policies. He was arrested, suffered beatings, and abused under house arrest before escaping to the United States.

Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto, Nigeria told the symposium that Christians in Nigeria face difficulty securing land for churches in states that see the building of churches as undermining Islam. By contrast, most mosques are state funded.

He suggested a focus on “bread and butter” issues as a way forward, by addressing crisis areas like homelessness, orphan children, unemployment, and conditions that stop farmers from farming or harvesting crops. In areas that are struggling to build schools, having a Muslim presence in schools is “a guarantee that persecution will not continue,” he said.

Archbishop Basha Warda of Erbil spoke about the situation facing Iraqi Christians and other minorities like the Yazidis. He warned of “a growing loss of hope” for Iraqi Christians, whose numbers have declined from 1.6 million before the 2003 U.S. invasion to fewer than 250,000 today.

“This time, it’s quite likely that we will have disappeared by the time the world chooses to look upon us again. And yet as for now, we are still here, still working with whatever strength, courage and hope that we are able to still find.”

While rejecting a “culture of dependency,” he noted that Christians, like many others, are facing severe need in basic areas like security, food, employment, education and freedom of religion.

Also during the symposium, writer David Oldroyd-Bolt interviewed Lord David Alton, a former Liberal MP who is now in Britain’s House of Lords. Alton said that even though religious freedom advocates can’t solve all problems, “we can solve some of them.”

He cited the case of the abduction, forced marriage and forced conversion of a 13-year-old girl in Pakistan, resolved when her supporters secured help from “good members of the judiciary.”

Alton saw recent improvements in aiding persecuted Christians, like the creation of the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, which is able to make common cause on some issues. He praised the work of Sam Brownback, U.S. Ambassador At Large for International Religious Freedom, as well as those from other countries with similar roles.

Alton suggested that on the topic of Christian persecution there is “a lot of indifference” that is driven by “contempt for religious faith.”

He criticized those who dismissed the Nigerian Islamic extremist group Boko Haram’s killing of Christians as having causes in climate change or population growth.

“Eleven Christians were murdered on Christmas day. That wasn’t climate change,” he said.

Alton, who has served as vice-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on Hong Kong, said that regarding China, he tends to follow the view of Cardinal Joseph Zen, a critic of the Vatican’s deal with China. Zen has “said again and again you should not be dealing with the communist party.”

“It’s a bit of a betrayal to make a concord with Chinese communist party,” Alton said, calling the agreement “a huge historical error.”

“We should be standing alongside those who have suffered so much for their faith,” he said.

Multiple speakers, including Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Warda, cited the example and the work of Andrew Walther, who died of leukemia only months after becoming EWTN News Chief Operating Officer and President. He had been a major leader in efforts to help persecuted Christians in his role as vice-president of communications and strategic planning for the Knights of Columbus.

The end of the symposium featured a pre-recorded tribute for Walther from Michael Warsaw, EWTN Chairman and CEO. He said Walther was a longtime friend who had hoped he would be able to continue his work on behalf of persecuted Christians in his new role.

“The impact of Andrew’s work in this area was immense,” said Warsaw, who added: “one of the best ways for all of us to honor Andrew’s memory is to recommit us to the cause of persecuted Christians.”


What pro-lifers can expect from a divided House and Senate

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 21, 2020 / 04:37 pm (CNA).- With nearly all U.S. House and Senate races decided, Congress will be sharply divided the next two years—possibly undermining the viability of extreme pro-abortion policies.

A Senate majority will hinge upon two Jan. 5 runoff elections in Georgia. Republicans would only need one of these seats to keep the Senate, but if Democrats sweep both races then they would effectively hold a majority in the chamber, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris being a tiebreaker in a 50-50 vote scenario.

The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List and its partner Women Speak Out PAC are “all-in” for the two Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, spending more than $4 million in the two races and aiming to reach 1 million voters before election day.

However, even if the Democrats sweep in Georgia, their narrow majorities would be more tenuous than anticipated—and could mean the abandonment of some of the more extreme goals that had been suggested ahead of the election.

Two changes that Senate Democrats flirted with before the election—abolishing the filibuster and adding justices to the Supreme Court—are possibly dead.

Both measures could have imperiled pro-life hopes, as pro-abortion bills would only need 51 votes to pass the chamber if the filibuster were abolished, and an expanded Supreme Court could further thwart any state attempts to restrict abortions.

“I do think that court-packing is dead for the foreseeable future,” Rammesh Ponnuru, senior editor at National Review, told EWTN Pro-Life Weekly on Nov. 5. “They [Democrats] are going to have a razor-thin [Senate] majority, they’re probably not going to even have that.”

President-elect Joe Biden would also need the support of the Senate to make cabinet appointments and nominations to federal courts.

Republican or Democratic control of the chamber thus could play a significant role in the number and rate of Biden’s appointments—particularly the confirmation of any judges who would rule in favor of pro-abortion groups.

During the lame-duck session, Congress will be pressured to pass another coronavirus relief package. Pro-life leaders have warned that health spending in such a bill could contain new funding streams for abortions, although it remains to be seen if Democrats would choose to pick a fight on that issue before the new Congress begins.

Even in the House, Republican gains could spur the abandonment of some pro-abortion policies such as repealing the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits funding of elective abortions in Medicaid.

With all but four of the races decided by Friday morning, Democrats will have at least 222 seats in the House. However, Republicans have already gained nine seats in total, and of the four outstanding races, they hold narrow leads in three of them—California’s 21st and 25th districts, and Iowa’s 2nd district—and a larger lead in New York’s 22nd district.

If Republicans sweep all four races, they would have only a nine-vote deficit. That would narrow the margin of success for Democratic priorities such as repealing Hyde.

Speaker Pelosi said in August that she would not include the Hyde Amendment on spending bills in 2021. President-elect Biden has promised to undo the pro-life policy as well.

“I think it would be a terrible political mistake,” said outgoing Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) to CNA last week. He noted that “a substantial majority of Americans support the Hyde Amendment,” and that “the party really put itself on the defensive” by trying to repeal it.

“I’m not sure if the votes would even be there in the House, much less the Senate, to get rid of the Hyde Amendment,” Lipinski said.

Nevertheless, he added, pro-lifers will have to be vigilant against the possibility of such a repeal.

Another consequence of the elections is the further entrenchment of the pro-life lobby within the Republican Party.

With the defeat of Lipinski (D-Ill.) in his March primary, and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) being unseated in the general election, there will be no House Democrats next year with the endorsement of Democrats for Life of America.

Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah) also voted with pro-lifers some of the time, but lost his race as well. McAdams, Lipinski and Peterson were the only House Democrats not to receive an “F” rating from the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List. While Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) is known to sometimes buck support pro-life bills, he was not endorsed by Democrats for Life, and had a “F” rating from Susan B. Anthony List.

Lipinski warned that the pro-life cause should not be concentrated in one political party, but admitted that it has become harder to run for Congress as a pro-life Democrat.

“I think it’s bad for the pro-life movement if this becomes a one-party issue,” he said, noting that Republicans can more easily “take pro-life voters for granted.”

“I really think there’s going to have to be a concerted effort by pro-life groups to try to get some Democrats elected to Congress. And that’s going to mean getting involved in Democratic primaries,” he said.


Pope Francis encourages young economists to learn from the poor

Vatican City, Nov 21, 2020 / 02:25 pm (CNA).- In a video message Saturday, Pope Francis encouraged young economists and entrepreneurs from around the world to bring Jesus to their cities, and to work not only for the poor, but with the poor.

Addressing participants of the Economy of Francesco online event, the pope said Nov. 21 that changing the world is about much more than “social assistance” or “welfare:” “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.”

“Let us, then, not think for [the poor], but with them. Let us learn from them how to propose economic models that will benefit everyone…” he said.

He told young adults it is not enough to meet the essential needs of their brothers and sisters. “We need to accept structurally that the poor have sufficient dignity to sit at our meetings, participate in our discussions and bring bread to their own tables,” he said.

The Economy of Francesco, sponsored by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Development, was a Nov. 19-21 virtual event that aimed to form 2,000 young economists and entrepreneurs from around the world to “build a more just, fraternal, inclusive and sustainable economy today and in the future.”

To do this, Pope Francis said in his video message, “calls for more than empty words: ‘the poor’ and ‘the excluded’ are real people. Instead of viewing them from a merely technical or functional standpoint, it is time to let them become protagonists in their own lives and in the fabric of society as a whole. Let us not think for them, but with them.”

Noting the unpredictability of the future, the pope urged young adults to “not be afraid to get involved and touch the soul of your cities with the gaze of Jesus.”

“Do not fear to enter courageously the conflicts and crossroads of history in order to anoint them with the fragrance of the Beatitudes,” he continued. “Do not fear, for no one is saved alone.”

They can accomplish much in their local communities, he said, warning them not to look for shortcuts. “No shortcuts! Be a leaven! Roll up your sleeves!” he emphasized.

Francis said: “Once the present health crisis has passed, the worst reaction would be to fall even more deeply into feverish consumerism and forms of selfish self-protection.”

“Remember,” he continued, “we never emerge from a crisis unaffected: either we end up better or worse. Let us foster what is good, make the most of this moment and place ourselves at the service of the common good. God grant that in the end there will no longer be ‘others,’ but that we adopt a style of life where we can speak only of ‘us.’ Of a great ‘us.’ Not of a petty ‘us’ and then of ‘others.’ That will not do.”

Quoting St. Pope Paul VI, Francis said “development cannot be restricted to economic growth alone. To be authentic, it must be well-rounded; it must foster the development of each person and of the whole person… We cannot allow economics to be separated from human realities, nor development from the civilization in which it takes place. What counts for us is man, each individual man and woman, each human group, and humanity as a whole.”

The pope called the future “an exciting time that summons us to acknowledge the urgency and the beauty of the challenges lying before us.”

“A time that reminds us that we are not condemned to economic models whose immediate interest is limited to profit and promoting favourable public policies, unconcerned with their human, social and environmental cost,” he stated.