Pope Francis: Disabled people are not in humanity’s minor ‘leagues’

Vatican City, Dec 3, 2019 / 10:03 am (CNA).- Pope Francis said Tuesday that disabled people make important contributions to humanity, and called discrimination against them a sin. The pope added that disabled people are not members of humanity’s minor “leagues.”

“We are called to recognize in every person with a disability, even with complex and serious disabilities, a unique contribution to the common good through their original life story,” he said Dec. 3.

“Recognize the dignity of each one, knowing that it does not depend on the functionality of the five senses.”

Pope Francis sent his message on the 2019 World Day of People with Disabilities, the theme of which is “the future is accessible.”

The Gospel teaches the dignity of every person, the pope said, adding that everyone must work to fight a culture which considers some people to be part of “Serie A” and others “Serie B,” a reference to the major and minor Italian soccer leagues.

“A culture that considers some lives to be ‘League A’ and others ‘League B’” based on their physical or mental abilities is “a social sin!” he added.

Francis noted that unfortunately, in some countries, people with disabilities are not treated with equal dignity, “as brothers and sisters in humanity.”

“Have the courage to give voice to those who are discriminated against due to their disability,” he said.

Inclusive laws and protections against discrimination are important, but they are not enough if not accompanied by a change of mentality, he said, “if we do not overcome a widespread culture that continues to produce inequalities, preventing active participation in ordinary life for people with disabilities.”

Pope Francis asked everyone, on this World Day of People with Disabilities, to renew their faith, a faith which sees “in every brother and sister the presence of Christ himself, who considers every gesture of love for one of the least of his brothers to be made for him.”

“On this occasion, I would like to recall that today the promotion of participation rights has a central role to combat discrimination and promote a culture of encounter and quality life,” he said.

He explained that a lot of progress has been made in the medical and welfare fields, but even today there is a culture of waste, and a feeling for many that they exist “without belonging and without participating.”

“All this calls [us] not only to protect the rights of people with disabilities and their families,” he said, “but urges us to make the world more human by removing all that prevents them from full citizenship, the obstacles of prejudice, and by promoting the accessibility of places and quality of life, which takes into account all the dimensions of the human.”



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  1. “Make the world more human by removing all that prevents them from full citizenship promoting accessibility of places and quality of life”. Totally compassionate people oriented. How do we understand the Pontiff’s visible care for the less fortunate within Christianity? Should we ask? Yes we should if his vision of less fortunate people is Myth. People not the individual rather understood as an overarching abstract that determines Justice. Dec 1 Anagni Sandro Magister talked of “A Pope with the Myth of a people” published in L’Espresso Dec 3. A brilliant analysis from Jorge Bergoglio’s Peronist youth to the present reinventing thru the years Peron’s premise Reality is more important than Ideas. People mythology similar to Saul Alinsky’s adaptation of minorities [as the oppressed] as instruments for radical social conversion. The end always an egalitarian world in which personal belief, rules, do not matter and are employed solely for achieving that end. An example of this Myth process is extracted here from S Magister’s Dec 3 article: “Francis systematically says and does not say, retracts, contradicts himself. At the Lutheran church in Rome his response to a Protestant woman who asked him if she could receive communion with her Catholic husband he said a little of everything to her: yes, no, I don’t know, you work it out. The result was that from then on in the Catholic Church everyone does as he pleases. When some cardinals presented the ‘dubia’ he did not respond. But that’s just the point, he couldn’t respond. Those cardinals had fully grasped the essence of his magisterium”. Although I add it must also be recognized that the Pontiff is not consistent in employing a pure egalitarian Myth as policy that dismisses specificity of belief as necessary. And if held by some tolerable. Instead of such a pluralistic form of egalitarianism the Pontiff in essence favors a univocal form of non belief evidenced in his strong disfavor of Rules. A world vision within which Christianity has no place.

  2. Out there in the forest of bliss at India’s Anandwan, disability is a non issue. Leprosy victors are accompanied by differently-abled allies in the gigantic task or world-building.

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