Pope Francis calls for personal responsibility in post-pandemic world

Pope Francis (Photo by Joe Torres)

Pope Francis this week called for responsibility to help each other during the pandemic and even after when everyone would start rebuilding lives.

“What is needed above all is someone who has the courage to say ‘I’ with responsibility,” said the pontiff in a message to the “Rimini Meeting for Friendship amongst Peoples” in the Rimini, Italy.

The pope urged everyone to be courageous to start again after the pandemic “not with selfishness,” but “communicating with his or her own life that the day can begin with reliable hope.”

In his message sent through Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, the pope said personal responsibility is key to improving the post-pandemic world.

Pope Francis focused his message on the meeting’s theme: “The courage to say ‘I’” from the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard.

He said the saying is helpful as the world seeks “to start off again on the right foot, so as not to waste the opportunity provided by the crisis of the pandemic.”

“Despite imposing physical distancing, the pandemic has placed the person, the ‘I’ of each person, back at the center, in many cases provoking a reawakening of fundamental questions about the meaning of existence and the utility of living that had been dormant or, worse still, censored for too long,” said the pope.

He said the pandemic should have reminded people of the need for personal responsibility.

“Faced with sickness and pain, faced with the emergence of a need, many people unflinchingly said: ‘Here I am,’” said Pope Francis.

He said people are at the heart of society, and that without the person, society is merely a casual aggregation of beings and would be a society based solely on self-centeredness and greed.

The pope said all people must take up their own responsibilities to serve others. But he said it takes courage to say “I” responsibly.

Pope Francis said the “filial relationship with the eternal Father, which is made present in persons reached and changed by Christ, gives consistency to the self, freeing it from fear and opening it to the world with a positive attitude.”

He cited St. Peter, a fearful man, until he was filled with the Holy Spirit and learned to speak courageously about Jesus to his contemporaries.

“The profound reason for the courage of the Christian is Christ. It is the Risen Lord who is our security, who makes us experience profound peace even in the midst of life’s storms,” said Pope Francis.

He concluded his message by urging participants of the meeting, which started on August 20, to be filled with the joy of the Gospel.

The pope urged them to be courageous in discovering new ways of living the faith, while including all people, “because the horizon of faith in Christ is the entire world.” - LiCAS.news