Thus spoke POPE FRANCIS – some three weeks ago – when he made a visit to a slum area in Rio de Janeiro on the occasion of the World Youth Day in Brazil. He could have said it three months ago or three months from now. In fact, his thought and feeling could have been said three decades ago if not three decades here from because that has been the truth in the distant past and will still be the truth in the distant future:
When public officials do not fulfill their respective solemn oath that they are for the good and welfare of others than for their own advantage and benefit. In other words, when government leaders in effect lead people to poverty and misery while using their power and authority to endow and enrich themselves, when they are preoccupied in attending to the interests and concerns of their own families and allies instead of their constituents, when they do not serve the people but instead make them their servants, and when they wherefore behave like kings or queens treating people as their slaves and footstools – the said “inequalities” of already long standing, will still continue to exist.
When private individuals – who are already very rich – still do anything and everything possible to become even richer in the course of time, with utter disregard to the poor and miserable they see and pass by. In other words, when the already wealthy allow themselves to be still propelled by greed or advice and thus become wealthier while the poor even become much poorer, when they use their wealth to seek and accumulate more wealth while so many others have not enough food to eat, clean clothes to wear and decent houses to live in, and when they count their money by the billions while the poor count theirs by the centavos – the said “inequalities” of very long standing, will still continue to exist.
When people act and behave as if they see nothing, hear nothing and so say nothing and do nothing as well in order to claim and defend their basic human rights to earn a living, to preserve their health and keep their life plus their complimentary human rights to education, to dignity and security. In other words, when the people themselves placed in such distress and destitution are either afraid to speak up and take action in order to correct they corrupt and corrupting government and to address greedy preying individuals – the said “inequalities” of too long a standing, will still continue to exist.
Thus it is that POPE FRANCIS is God’s gift to the humanity. He not expressly and emphatically reminds people and government that no human being, no human community may be excluded from the blessings of the world, and thus also formally and categorically proclaims that, “No one may remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world.” He cannot be more right!