The Pope met with participants of the World Meeting of Popular Movements that is being held at the Vatican.
The participants responded enthusiastically to the Pope's warm greeting.
Pope Francis thanked the presence of these people, who he said, "suffer inequality and exclusion in their very flesh.”
"This meeting of Popular Movements is a sign, a great sign: you came to place in the presence of God, of the Church, of the people, a reality that is often silenced. The poor not only suffer injustice, they also fight against it!”
The Pope spoke of land, home and work; the three themes of the meeting. He explained that although it may sound like a communist ideal, in reality, it is a claim that is at the heart of the Social Doctrine of the Church.
He spoke on the throwaway culture, referring to abortion as a society that throws away their children before birth because they do not produce.
He also denounced the high cost of food in many places around the world and the waste of food in others.
"This is a real scandal. Hunger is criminal, food is an inalienable right.”
The Pope said that there is no greater poverty than that doesn't allow someone to obtain work and called for mankind to be placed at the center of the economic system.
For many participants, these words were full of hope and promise.
Director, Le Monde Diplomatique
"The Pope has considered the struggle of these people, his struggle. The Pope has said that, in reality, the message of the Gospel is the foundation of the very struggle of these people.”
JOSÉ ANTONIO VIVES
Plataforma Afectados por la Hipoteca (Spain)
"There is a great contribution by the Pope in assuming the claims, the struggles that we bring to all around the world.”
Pope Francis asked that they continue their struggle "without fanaticism or violence while seeking to resolve tensions.” Before he left, he greeted Bolivian president Evo Morales, who attended the meeting as a representative of the Indigenous people.
The meeting will conclude tomorrow with a vote on a final document that will summarize the proposals discussed.