Thursday, September 24, 2015

- Pope Francis - Speech - Bolivia - July - Good Stuff -


((( Don’t go for all this god stuff, religion … but this pope is pretty good –

               I have consolidated his speech ( left out the local, historical, religious )

               Made it more readable … ( did not add or change anything )…)))

Read it – it’s pretty good -  


Excerpts from -

Pope Francis’ Speech

on the Poor and Indigenous Peoples In Bolivia


 July 9, 2015 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Pope Francis spoke about the problems faced by the poor and indigenous peoples at

the Second World Meeting of the Popular Movements at the Expo Feria Exhibition Centre

in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia .


"I wish to join my voice to yours in calling for land, lodging and labor for all our brothers and sisters."


Good afternoon!

… I have kept you in my thoughts and prayers.

I am happy to see you again, here, as you discuss the best ways to overcome the grave situations of injustice experienced by the excluded throughout our world. …

… I sensed something very beautiful: fraternity, determination, commitment, a thirst for justice.

Today, in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, I sense it once again.

 I thank you for that….

The Bible tells us that God hears the cry of his people, and I wish to join my voice to yours in calling for land, lodging and labor for all our brothers and sisters.

I said it and I repeat it: these are sacred rights.

It is important, it is well worth fighting for them.

May the cry of the excluded be heard in Latin America and throughout the world.


1. Let us begin by acknowledging that change is needed.

… I am speaking about problems common to all Latin Americans and, more generally, to humanity as a whole.

Do we realize that something is wrong in a world where there are

so many farmworkers without land,

so many families without a home,

so many laborers without rights,

so many persons whose dignity is not respected?

Do we realize that something is wrong where so many senseless wars are being fought and acts of fratricidal violence are taking place on our very doorstep?

Do we realize something is wrong when the soil, water, air and living creatures of our world are under constant threat?

So let’s not be afraid to say it: we need change; we want change.

… many forms of exclusion and injustice which you experience

in the workplace,

in neighborhoods

throughout the land.

They are many and diverse, just as many and diverse are the ways in which you confront them.

Yet there is an invisible thread joining every one of those forms of exclusion: can we recognize it?

These are not isolated issues. I wonder whether we can see that these destructive realities are part of a system which has become global.

Do we realize that that system has imposed the mentality of profit at any price,

with no concern for social exclusion or the destruction of nature?

If such is the case, I would insist, let us not be afraid to say it:

we want change,

real change,

structural change.

This system is by now intolerable:

farmworkers find it intolerable,

laborers find it intolerable,

communities find it intolerable,

peoples find it intolerable …

The earth itself – our sister, Mother Earth, as Saint Francis would say – also finds it intolerable.


We want change in our lives, in our neighborhoods, in our everyday reality.

We want a change which can affect the entire world, since global interdependence calls for global answers to local problems.

The globalization of hope, a hope which springs up from peoples and takes root among the poor, must replace the globalization of exclusion and indifference!

… I would like to speak of change in another sense.

Positive change, a change which is good for us, a change – we can say – which is redemptive.

… : in my different meetings, in my different travels, I have sensed an expectation, a longing, a yearning for change, in people throughout the world.

Even within that ever smaller minority which believes that the present system is beneficial, there is a widespread sense of dissatisfaction and even despondency.

Many people are hoping for a change capable of releasing them from the bondage of individualism and the despondency it spawns.

Time, … seems to be running out; we are not yet tearing one another apart, but we are tearing apart our common home.

Today, the scientific community realizes what the poor have long told us:

harm, perhaps irreversible harm, is being done to the ecosystem.

The earth, entire peoples and individual persons are being brutally punished.

And behind all this pain, death and destruction there is the stench of what Basil of Caesarea called “the dung of the devil”.

An unfettered pursuit of money rules.

The service of the common good is left behind.

Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions,

once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system,

it ruins society,

it condemns and enslaves men and women,

it destroys human fraternity,

it sets people against one another …

it … puts at risk our common home.


I do not need to go on describing the evil effects of this subtle dictatorship: you are well aware of them. Nor is it enough to point to the structural causes of today’s social and environmental crisis.

We are suffering from an excess of diagnosis, which at times leads us to multiply words and to revel in pessimism and negativity.


What can I do, as collector of paper, old clothes or used metal, a recycler, about all these problems if I barely make enough money to put food on the table?

What can I do as a craftsman, a street vendor, a trucker, a downtrodden worker, if I don’t even enjoy workers’ rights?

What can I do, a farmwife, a native woman, a fisher who can hardly fight the domination of the big corporations?

What can I do from my little home, my shanty, my hamlet, my settlement, when I daily meet with discrimination and marginalization?

What can be done by

those students,

those young people,

those activists,

those missionaries

who come to my neighborhood with their hearts full of hopes and dreams, but without any real solution for my problems?

A lot! They can do a lot.


the lowly,

the exploited,

the poor and underprivileged,

can do, and are doing, a lot.

I would even say that the future of humanity is in great measure in your own hands, …  

Don’t lose heart!


2. …

 … changes of structure which are not accompanied by a sincere conversion of mind and heart sooner or later end up in bureaucratization, corruption and failure. …

Each of us is just one part of a complex and differentiated whole, interacting in time:

peoples who struggle to find meaning, a destiny, and to live with dignity, to “live well”.

… you carry out your work inspired by fraternal love, which you show in opposing social injustice.

When we look into the eyes of the suffering,

when we see the faces of

the endangered campesino,

the poor laborer,

the downtrodden native,

the homeless family,

the persecuted migrant,

the unemployed young person,

the exploited child,

…. when we think of all those names and faces, our hearts break because of so much sorrow and pain. And we are deeply moved…. We are moved because “we have seen and heard” not a cold statistic but the pain of a suffering humanity, our own pain, our own flesh. …


… You, dear brothers and sisters, often work on little things, in local situations, amid forms of injustice which you do not simply accept but actively resist, standing up to an idolatrous system which excludes, debases and kills


… We do not love concepts or ideas; we love people…

Commitment, true commitment, is born of the love of men and women, of children and the elderly, of peoples and communities… of names and faces which fill our hearts.

From those seeds of hope patiently sown in the forgotten fringes of our planet,

from those seedlings of a tenderness which struggles to grow amid the shadows of exclusion, great trees will spring up, great groves of hope to give oxygen to our world.


 It is essential that, along with the defense of their legitimate rights, peoples and their social organizations be able to construct a humane alternative to a globalization which excludes.

You are sowers of change.

May God grant you the courage, joy, perseverance and passion to continue sowing.

Be assured that sooner or later we will see its fruits.


3. Lastly, I would like us all to consider some important tasks for the present historical moment, since we desire a positive change for the benefit of all our brothers and sisters.

… We desire change enriched by the collaboration of governments, popular movements and other social forces.

I would like, … to propose three great tasks which demand a decisive and shared contribution from popular movements:


3.1 The first task is to put the economy at the service of peoples.

Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money.

Let us say NO to an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money rules, rather than service.

That economy kills.

That economy excludes.

That economy destroys Mother Earth.

The economy should not be a mechanism for accumulating goods,

but rather the proper administration of our common home.

This entails a commitment to care for that home and to the fitting distribution of its goods among all.

 A just economy must create the conditions for everyone

to be able to enjoy a childhood without want,

to develop their talents when young,

to work with full rights during their active years …

to enjoy a dignified retirement as they grow older.

It is an economy where human beings, in harmony with nature, structure the entire system of production and distribution in such a way that the abilities and needs of each individual find suitable expression in social life.

The available resources in our world,

the fruit of the intergenerational labors of peoples …

the gifts of creation,

more than suffice for the integral development of “each man and the whole man”.

… There exists a system with different aims.

A system which, while irresponsibly accelerating the pace of production,

while using industrial and agricultural methods which damage Mother Earth in the name of “productivity”, continues to deny many millions of our brothers and sisters their most elementary economic, social and cultural rights.

This system runs counter to the plan of Jesus.


Working for a just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human labor is not mere philanthropy.

It is a moral obligation.

It is about giving to the poor and to peoples what is theirs by right.

The universal destination of goods is not a figure of speech found in the Church’s social teaching.

It is a reality prior to private property.

Property, especially when it affects natural resources, must always serve the needs of peoples.

It is not enough to let a few drops fall whenever the poor shake a cup which never runs over by itself.



3.2. The second task is to unite our peoples on the path of peace and justice.

The world’s peoples want to be artisans of their own destiny.

They want to advance peacefully towards justice.

They do not want forms of tutelage or interference by which those with greater power subordinate those with less.

They want

their culture,

their language,

their social processes …

their religious traditions to be respected.

No actual or established power has the right to deprive peoples of the full exercise of their sovereignty. …

Despite the progress made, there are factors which still threaten this equitable human development and restrict the sovereignty of the countries of the “greater country” and other areas of our planet.

The new colonialism takes on different faces.

At times it appears as the anonymous influence of mammon:


loan agencies,

…“free trade” treaties,

… the imposition of measures of “austerity”

… always tighten the belt of workers and the poor.

At other times, under the noble guise of battling corruption, the narcotics trade and terrorism –

grave evils of our time which call for coordinated international action –

we see states being saddled with measures which have little to do with the resolution of these problems and which not infrequently worsen matters.

Similarly, the monopolizing of the communications media, which would impose alienating examples of consumerism and a certain cultural uniformity,

is another one of the forms taken by the new colonialism.

It is ideological colonialism. …  

poor countries are often treated like “parts of a machine, cogs on a gigantic wheel”.


Every significant action carried out in one part of the planet has universal, ecological, social and cultural repercussions.

Even crime and violence have become globalized.

Colonialism, both old and new,

which reduces poor countries to mere providers of raw material and cheap labor, engenders violence, poverty, forced migrations and all the evils which go hand in hand with these, …

That is inequality,

… inequality generates a violence which no police, military, or intelligence resources can control.

Let us say NO to forms of colonialism old and new.

Let us say YES to the encounter between peoples and cultures.

Blessed are the peacemakers.


3.3. The third task, perhaps the most important facing us today, is to defend Mother Earth.

Our common home is being pillaged, laid waste and harmed with impunity.

Cowardice in defending it is a grave sin.

We see with growing disappointment how one international summit after another takes place without any significant result.

There exists a clear, definite and pressing ethical imperative to implement what has not yet been done. We cannot allow certain interests – interests which are global but not universal –

to take over,

to dominate states and international organizations, …

to continue destroying creation.

People and their movements are called to cry out, to mobilize and to demand – peacefully, but firmly – that appropriate and urgently-needed measures be taken.

I ask you, in the name of God, to defend Mother Earth.

I have duly addressed this issue in my Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’.


4. In conclusion, I would like to repeat: the future of humanity does not lie solely in the hands of great leaders, the great powers and the elites.

It is fundamentally in the hands of peoples and in their ability to organize.

It is in their hands, which can guide with humility and conviction this process of change.

I am with you.

Let us together say from the heart:

no family without lodging,

no rural worker without land,

no laborer without rights,

no people without sovereignty,

no individual without dignity,

no child without childhood,

no young person without a future,

no elderly person without a venerable old age.

Keep up your struggle and, please, take great care of Mother Earth.

I pray for you and with you, and I ask God our Father to accompany you and to bless you, to fill you with his love and defend you on your way by granting you in abundance that strength which keeps us on our feet: that strength is hope, the hope which does not disappoint.

Thank you and I ask you, please, to pray for me.

? Pretty good ???

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