There’s a sad truth in today’s world: if something isn’t newsworthy, it doesn’t exist. It applies to environmental disasters, wars, and to humanitarian emergencies. It also applies to people. Pope Francis tells us in his September prayer intention and video, that “people who live on the margins” are in fact, “invisible.” Not because they really are, but because we have made them so, turning away from them: “we’ll get stiff necks from looking the other way,” he says, and wonders, “how we managed to reach this level of indifference.”
The sentence with which Pope Francis opens his monthly video is a snapshot of our world: “a homeless person who dies on the street will never appear on the first page of Internet search engines or news bulletins.” And so, in the continuation of the video, a hypothetical online search engine tries to accompany its keywords, showing what too often escapes our eyes and our hearts: “living on the margins,” and homeless people appear in the suburbs of the large cities of various continents and you see the enormous contrasts between shacks and skyscrapers only a few meters away from each other. Then in the video the efforts of many organizations – often Catholic – are brought to light, which give concrete answers that are away from the spotlight and the television cameras.
One can be on the margins of society in various ways, as Pope Francis recalls: “for reasons of poverty, addiction, mental illness or disability.” Whatever the cause, however, the result is the same: a culture – which dominates “our lives, our cities, our way of life” – “in which millions of men and women are worthless compared to economic profit.” Let us stop then, the Pope asks us, making them invisible. And “let us focus on hospitality”: on the culture “of hospitality, of giving a roof, of giving shelter, of giving love, and giving human warmth.”
(Coordinator The Pope’s Video)