HAVING consulted the College of Consultors, His Grace Most Reverend…
Referencing the theme of the message, the Holy Father then highlighted various forms of indifference in society. First, there is indifference to God, which in turn leads to indifference to one’s neighbour and subsequently to the environment.
Pope Francis also addressed what he referred to as an “indifference to mercy,” as seen with the Genesis account of Cain murdering his brother Abel. In contrast, God intervenes, the message reads: “He sees, hears, comes down, and delivers. God does not remain indifferent. He is attentive and He acts.”
“Mercy is the heart of God,” the Pope writes, and therefore must be the heart of all His children.
Pope Francis said we are called to “compassion, love, mercy and solidarity” in our relationships with one another. He added that “the conversion of our hearts” is needed for us to become “open to others in authentic solidarity.” The Pope called for the building of a culture of solidarity and mercy in order to overcome indifference.
This begins with families, which are the “first place where the values of love, fraternity, togetherness and sharing, concern and care for others are lived out and handed on.” He spoke also of the role of teachers, and communicators. The Pope added that communicators in particular should be “mindful” of how they obtain and disseminate information, saying their methods should always be “legally and morally admissible.”
Pope Francis went on to say that peace is the fruit of a culture of solidarity, mercy, and compassion.
It is also a sign of the Jubilee of Mercy, which began 8 Dec, in which all are called to recognize indifference, and “improve the world around us.”
The Holy Father said these efforts begin with our families, neighbours, and places of employment. They extend to civil society’s care for vulnerable persons, such as “prisoners, migrants, the unemployed, and the infirm.”
On the subject of migrants, the Pope asked that legislation on migration be reviewed, in a way that facilitates their integration into society, with special attention given to legal residency in order to avoid criminal behaviour.
Pope Francis appealed to national leaders to offer assistance to men and women suffering from lack of work, land, and lodging. – Vatican Radio