The Pope met with members of the Italian Federation of Philanthropic Foundations and urged them to show compassion, be close to and care for the weak, so as to build a stable society.
(Vatican News Network)Pope Francis received members of the Italian Federation of Charitable Foundations and Institutions (Assifero) in the Vatican on January 26. Founded 20 years ago, the federation brings together charities from different fields in Italy and abroad. The pope praised the federation’s “approach and its clear Christian spirit”.
The federation works to promote human rights and “the development of a sound and stable social and economic model”. The pope called this action “a charity of all dimensions”.
“Therefore, I would recommend that you give special attention to three important values in your programs: first, to promote the overall well-being of people; second, to listen to local groups; , which is one of the qualities of God: he is close and caring, merciful and tender.”
Next, the Pope first elaborated on the first point: “promoting the overall well-being of the human being”. We should help people “take ownership of their personal and community growth, development of abilities and talents”.
Speaking of “listening to local communities”, the pope pointed out that it is crucial that the federation’s actions “not be mere sporadic aid, but sowing seeds for the future”. Members of the federation should “listen with humility” in order to be “a voice for the weakest in public institutions”.
As for “being close to and caring for the weak”, the Pope quoted a proverb: Although the links are weak, the chains are strong. The Pope concluded by exhorting: “Please be close to the weak, to lean close to their wounds, to take responsibility for their needs. All this is a good basis for building a united and solid community for a better world, a peaceful future.”
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