The poor are with you always… or are they?

In a interview with the FIDES News Agency, [part of the Information Service of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples], Fr Donald Zagore SMA expresses concern that, after the Covid-19 pandemic has been brought under control, the exceptional care going on at present should not be put aside and the poor, once again, consigned to the side-lines of society. Their care should be an ongoing concern and be part of our normal life.

“What will the poor become when the current extraordinary situation caused by the pandemic is over? In this global health crisis, everyone has intensified a strong impulse of charity and solidarity towards the most disadvantaged. The poor have suddenly become not only visible to everyone, but above all everyone’s priority”.

“While waiting for another emergency to remember them in an exceptional way, bringing them to the fore, the destitute will again fall into oblivion, become the waste of society and will remain eternal victims of all these political structures and economic leaders who claim to defend their causes, but on the contrary suffocate them even more”.

Fr Zagore highlights the fact that the poor should not be remembered only in exceptional circumstances: “A condition of poverty is always an exceptional situation and must take precedence over everything and in all circumstances”.

“This is why the Gospel of solidarity goes beyond simple acts of charity motivated by circumstances and requires a transformative commitment on behalf of our societies, in favour of the well-being of the poor and most abandoned. All those political and economic structures that prevent taking full responsibility for the destitute must be banned, while a daily, permanent struggle must be waged to improve the conditions of the poorest”.

“In Africa as everywhere in the world”, Fr Zagore says, “we must not spare any effort to preach, live and witness the Gospel of solidarity and charity always and forever”.