In a message for the 14th General Assembly of the Spanish Christian Workers Movement (HOAC) in Segovia, Pope Francis urged Catholics to accompany people struggling on the margins of the economy.
Pope Francis addressed his message to participants in the HOAC meeting from 12-15 August 2023, which bears the theme “Building Bridges, Tearing Down Walls: The Church in the World of Work Weaving Bonds of Fraternity”.
Work founded in human dignity
In his message, the Pope expressed his appreciation for the movement’s dedication to helping the Church accompany Catholics in the workforce.
Recalling his words in Evangelii Gaudium, he noted that work is “an essential component of life and human dignity”.
“Work is not simply a productive activity, but a means by which we cooperate with God in the work of creation and realize ourselves as human beings,” he said.
The Pope added that human labor helps us to be “co-creators and to participate in building a more just and fraternal world.”
Pope Francis added that it is the Church’s mission to walk with people in all aspects of their lives, including participation in the workforce.
Accompanying people on the peripheries
He said the Church especially needs to accompany people who are on the peripheries of the world of work.
“Our commitment cannot be limited to isolated speeches or actions,” he said, “but must be a constant witness of solidarity and support to people in situations of labor and social vulnerability.”
The Church’s mission with workers, he added, includes being close to people who have lost their jobs or suffer from a lack of employment opportunities.
Christians cannot remain enclosed in the walls of our church buildings, he urged, inviting everyone to reach out actively to those in need and to seek “just and lasting solutions” to job insecurity.
The Pope lamented the fact that unemployment continues to affect many families, saying the Church bears the responsibility of standing in solidarity with “people who face despair and exclusion due to joblessness.”
He concluded his message by encouraging the members of Catholic Action to “weave bonds of fraternity, bear the light of the Gospel, and build a more just society.
“I urge you to continue to be God’s people in the midst of working life, and to continue to weave stories of love and solidarity,” concluded Pope Francis. “The Church needs you.”