The Pope on Poverty

Last Thursday, I was in New York for my brand new job. I work in a news studio, and as one would imagine, the news of the hour was the arrival of the Pope. We haven’t had a Papal visit in many years, and the Vatican usually has absolutely no say in US Politics, but with the approaching potential government shutdown, it seemed appropriate that the Pope would be the one to speak to our Congress.

There is a new “brand” that Pope Francis has been pushing to represent the Catholic Church, and it’s all about poverty. He dresses more plainly than past Popes, and he prefers driving in simples vehicles instead of expensive limousines.  He spoke to Congress to try and push this agenda to the United States Government. In fact, he is so focused on fighting poverty that he declined Congress’s offer for a meal to instead help feed the homeless.

                  Pope Francis

But why is the Vatican doing this? Sure, we could say it is because religion has always been about helping the poor. Some might even say that it is a deliberate move to convince more people to go back to the faith. But most likely, it is about the Christian ideal of humility. Here is what the Pope had to say:

“For us Christians, poverty is not a sociological, philosophical or cultural category.  No, it is a theological category.  I would say, perhaps the first category, because God, the Son of God, abased Himself, made Himself poor to walk with us on the road.  And this is our poverty:  the poverty of the flesh of Christ, the poverty that the Son of God brought us with His Incarnation.  A poor Church for the poor begins by going to the flesh of Christ.  If we go to the flesh of Christ, we begin to understand something, to understand what this poverty is, the poverty of the Lord.”

These types of ideals are missing in modern society: perhaps the adoption of a new belief system is the real solution to our poverty problem. This year, it seems that Congress could learn a thing or two from the Pope on how to address the issues of the people.


By Nicholas Evangelista

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