File photo of Pope Francis with a group of workers in St. Peter's Square on 2 April 2014 File photo of Pope Francis with a group of workers in St. Peter's Square on 2 April 2014 

Pope: Church must accompany workers in midst of job insecurity

Pope Francis sends a message to a meeting of the Christian Workers’ Movement in the Spanish city of Segovia, and urges the Church to accompany people struggling on the margins of the economy.

By Devin Watkins

Members of the Christian Workers’ Movement of the Spanish Catholic Action (HOAC) have gathered in the Spanish city of Segovia for their 14th General Assembly, held on 12-15 August.

Pope Francis sent his encouragements on Sunday in a message to participants in the HOAC meeting, 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 organization’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.”

Church’s solidarity amid joblessness

Pope Francis went on to reflect on the Church’s mission to walk with people in all aspects of their lives, including participation in the workforce.

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.

Weaving bonds of fraternity

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.”

HOAC 14th General Assembly

Over 800 people from 41 dioceses across Spain are attending the General Assembly in Segovia.

Participants, who including archbishops, bishops and members of the movement, are meeting to discuss and make decisions regarding the challenges, priorities and proposals of HOAC for the next six years.

The movement seeks to reflect a Christian view of reality while confronting the challenges facing the Church in a world burdened by social malaise, inequality, and injustice that particularly affect the workforce.

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14 August 2023, 10:04