Archbishop Fisichella: ‘Poverty concerns all of us’

Pope Francis’s message for the 5th World Day of the Poor was presented on Monday morning by the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

By Vatican News staff writer

Archbishop Rino Fisichella on Monday presented Pope Francis’ Message for the 2021 World Day of the Poor, The poor you will always have with you, at a press conference in the Holy See Press Office, during which he illustrated the document and answered the questions of journalists.

The Message, the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization explained, appeals to us never to turn our backs on poverty for a series of reasons that are ethical, moral, pastoral, political, economic and social. He also informed the press that the Pope will celebrate Mass for the World Day of the Poor on 14 November in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Poverty is a global phenomenon 

“Poverty does not concern only a group of nations: it is a planetary phenomenon, which touches the whole world,” said Archbishop  Fisichella, explaining that the Pope is telling all of us that it is not feasible to turn our backs on poverty and carry on living as if the issue did not exist.

Answering questions by journalists present at the briefing, Fisichella said the Pope notes that we often talk about the poor, but in order to understand “the value of poverty in depth, one must also experience it.”

Vatican initiatives and Covid restrictions

Asked about the possible increase in the number of events taking place in the Vatican in preparation for the World Day, Fisichella confirmed that there are several “initiatives” and projects underway, but that all events will take place in respect of the rules and decisions taken at a political level to keep the pandemic in check.

“We still have some time, between now and November, to understand what initiatives can be taken,” he said, but if possible after the summer “we would like to resume the interrupted path.”

“The vaccines and the possibility that they will be distributed as widely as possible to all, in all parts of the world, especially to the most marginalised and poor, has become the objective with which to resume the daily path that was interrupted by Covid,” Fisichella said.

“Most certainly,” he continued, “ the Holy Father will celebrate Mass on 14 November in St Peter’s Basilica, […] but I am not yet in a position to say whether there will be limitations regarding  attendance” or at what time the Mass will take place.

Pope Francis established the World Day of the Poor in his Apostolic Letter, Misericordia et Misera, issued on 20 November 2016 to celebrate the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy