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Quotes and news

A beggar’s hand is God’s hand

Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, said: “Nowadays the poor are often called socially unprotected people, and society regards them as a problem. Politicians often try to use or buy these people, so they can build their political success on their grief. Very often, success of a society is measured, first of all, by the degree to which both the law and authorities defend the needs of poor people. But we Christians must see in a needy man not a problem but the living God present among us – our Saviour Jesus Christ – who said about himself: ‘I am a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence’.

“Christians regard it as a duty to serve the poor, not because of ideo­logical, economic or other human motives. A Christian can see God present in a needy person. A wise Christian can see that a stretched arm of a beggar is God’s hand of mercy stretched towards us.”

Nuclear weapons inherently immoral

Pope Francis said the threat to use nuclear weapons, and their very possession, is to be condemned.

The Pope was addressing partici­pants at a two-day conference on nuclear disarmament hosted at the Vatican by the Department for Integral Human Development.

He also condemned even the possession of nuclear weapons for their deterrent effect, saying the presence of such weapons creates “a climate of instability and conflict” and a “mentality of fear”.

He also mentioned the possibility of accidental detonation, with catastrophic effects.

“Weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, create nothing but a false sense of security,” the Pope said. “They cannot constitute the basis for peaceful coexistence between members of the human family.”

‘Make decisions free of partisan spirit’

During a visit to the US, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin told American bishops: “The Catholic community is call­ed under your guidance to work for a more just, inclusive society by dispelling the shadows of polarisation, divisiveness, and societal breakdown by the pure light of the gospel”.

He urged them “to make wise decisions free of all partisan spirit”.

Parolin praised the bishops for “defending the right to life of the unborn” and for their concern for ensuring access to healthcare.

“I cannot fail to mention the contribution made by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to the discussion of important social issues and political debates, above all, when this involved the defence of moral values and the rights of the poor, the elderly, the vulnerable, and those who have no voice.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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