Historic Days at the Vatican Tuesday October 28th 2014

… and in Burkina Faso October 30 and 31

Via Campesina (the World Movement of Peasant Farmers, which fights for the recognition of the right to food sovereignty and other issues) just published an article byIgnacio Ramonet in its October web bulletin, entitled: ”Historic Day at the Vatican” this Tuesday October 28, 2014. This precisely a few days before the historic events in Burkina Faso the 30th and 31st of October (which saw the president Blaise Compaoré resign and flee the country). The speech of Pope Francis only days before appear truly prophetic. We reproduce the article below, underlining in blue some of the most striking quotes from Pope Francis and from president Evo Morales..

via campesina Indeed a historic day at the Vatican this Tuesday October 28th. It does not occur frequently that the Pope calls a World Meeting of grass root movements to the Holy Chair, inviting movements of excluded and marginalised persons of all ethnic and religious denominations from the five continents: landless peasants and illegal occupants of property, workers of urban informal sectors, women in revolt, thrash recyclers, struggling indigenous populations … various leaders threatened by death squads … in short a World Assembly of the damned of the Earth. .Pape François

It occurs even less often that a Pope in person addresses these people and telling them that he wishes ” to listen to the voice of the poor because ” the poor no longer accept to be subjected to injustice, but fight against their fate ” and that he, the Pope wishes ” to stay by their side in their struggle ”..

Francis also told them that the poor no longer sit and wait for solutions that never come their way ; at present the poor want to actively determine their destiny and find solutions to their problems on their own, The poor are not resigning, they know how to protest and revolt. And he went on: ”I hope that the wind of protest will grow to a hurricane of hope”

The Pope further stated: "Solidary is a way of making history." That is why he joined the poor in their demands for ”land, a roof and a job”. He commented: "Some people say, when I ask for land, a roof and a job for the poor, that the Pope is a communist! They do not realise that solidarity with the poor is the very foundation of the Gospel..."

Manifestations du 31 octobrePope Francis recalled that ”agrarian reform is a moral necessity!”. He accused, without spelling it out explicitly, neoliberalism of being the cause of a number of the present day misfortunes: "All this happens when you remove the human being from the centre of the system and put King Money in its place”. He reiterated that "we must speak out with a louder voice" and that as Christians we have and agenda that I would call revolutionary: the words of the Sermon on the Mountain as told by St Matthew in his Gospel.

The Pope’s speech was strong and bold and follows straight from the social doctrine of the Church, to which Pope Francis made explicit reference. It has been a long time since a Pope made an adress of such social and progressive content on the subject of the poor, which is indeed one of the basic foundations of the Christian doctrine.

Le peuple demande la démission du président

This speech is all the more important as it was made in the presence of the Bolivian president Evo Morales, who stands out as an icon of various social movements and a world leader of indigenous peoples. Moment after the long acclaimed address by the Pope, president Morales to the floor and explained, by numerous examples, how ”capitalism, which turns everything into commerce has created a ”civilisation of waste”. He insisted on the idea that it is necessary to "rebuild the foundations of democracy and politics, because democracy is the government of the people, and not of capital and the banks." He emphasised the need for "respect for the Mother Earth" and for "rallying against the privatisation of public services." He suggested to the social movements attending the Meeting that they "set up and Alliance of the Excluded" to defend the "collective rights" which in his view are should be integrated into human rights.

The general feeling of the participants of this unique World Meeting was that the two communications by Pope Francis and president Morales confirm on the one hand the international outlook of the Bolivian president and the new, historic role fo Pope Francis, who more and more stand up a spokesmen for the poor of Latin America and for the excluded of the whole world.

By Ignacio Ramonet

Transmitted and commented in Koudougou, 28/11/2014
Maurice Oudet
Editor and President SEDELAN

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