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Pope Francis advocates for inclusion and dignity for people with disabilities

Pope Francis meets with members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (VATICAN MEDIA Divisione Foto)

Pope Francis advocates for inclusion and dignity for people with disabilities and denounced the throwaway culture when he addressed the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences on Thursday, April 11.

It was the plenary assembly of the Academy, 30 years since its foundation, themed, "Disability and the Human Condition. Changing the Social Determinants of Disabilities and Building a New Culture of Inclusion”.

Affirming the theme, the Holy Father said that while many countries are progressing in the acknowledgement of people with disabilities, it is “still partial and uncertain."

“Persons with disabilities are fully human subjects, with rights and duties,” and every human being has the right to live with dignity and to develop integrally. Unless this basic principle is upheld, there will be no future either for fraternity or for the survival of  humanity," he said of the solid teachings of the Church.

Pope Francis pointed out that vulnerability and frailty are part of the human condition, whether in poor or prosperous countries and not something proper only to persons with disabilities.  

He said that with the throwaway culture, there is "a less visible but extremely insidious factor that erodes the value of the disabled in the eyes of society and their own eyes."

The tendency to make individuals view their life as a burden both for themselves and for their loved ones turns the throwaway culture into a culture of death, said the Holy Father.

 “What is necessary is the promotion of a culture of inclusion by forging and consolidating the bonds of belonging within society ..governments that are committed in this regard must thus be encouraged and supported by the international community...t is necessary to support the organizations of civil society, since without their networks of solidarity, in many places people would be left to themselves,” he said. 

He added that integral inclusion is necessary. "Subsidiarity and participation are the pillars of effective inclusion.. in this regard, we can appreciate the importance of associations and movements of disabled persons that work to promote their participation in society".

The Holy Father encouraged the group to recognize that all people are our brothers and sisters and not mere utopia.  He thanked them all for their "concrete concern" and work toward bettering the world for everyone with disabilities.  (MTV)


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.