584 Francis: a pest for the poor and Barbecue suspended due to rain...read all about it.
Day 584: Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Pope pledges to continue being a 'pest' in defense of the poor: What is at stake is not the pope but the Gospel
VATICAN CITY, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Saturday he realizes some people, including within the Church, consider him to be "a pest" for defending the poor and most vulnerable, but that it won't stop him as it is part of Christianity.
"Thinking about these situations of exclusion and inequality, I make a pest of myself with my questions. And I go on asking. And I ask everyone in the name of God," said Francis.
He called on pharmaceutical companies to release patents to make vaccines for COVID-19 more available to the poor, noting that only 3%-4% of the population in some countries had been vaccinated.
Francis, 84, was speaking by video link to the World Meeting of Popular Movements, a grouping of grassroots organizations and social movements which bring attention to inequality in labor, land ownership, health care and other social issues in the developing world.
He called on industries such as mining and lumber, "to stop destroying forests, wetlands and mountains, to stop polluting rivers and seas, to stop poisoning food and people".
Francis said rich countries and financial institutions should cancel the debts of the poorest nations. Weapons manufacturers and dealers should to stop contributing "to those awful geopolitical games which cost millions of displaced lives and millions of dead."
Technology giants should stop allowing hate speech, fake news, conspiracy theories, and political manipulation, he said, and called for a universal basic income and for countries to consider shortening the work day so more people could have jobs.
"This system, with its relentless logic of profit, is escaping all human control. It is time to slow the locomotive down, an out-of-control locomotive hurtling towards the abyss. There is still time," he said. "And so, I persist in my pestering."
He referred to criticism he has received in the past, especially from U.S. church conservatives, when he has issued similar appeals.
"It saddens me that some members of the Church get annoyed when we mention these guidelines that belong to the full tradition of the Church," he said referring to a compendium of Catholic social teaching issued by Pope John Paul II in 2004.
"But the pope must not stop mentioning this teaching, even if it often annoys people, because what is at stake is not the pope but the Gospel," he said.
I ask all the great pharmaceutical laboratories to release the patents. Make a gesture of humanity and allow every country, every people, every human being, to have access to the vaccines. There are countries where only three or four per cent of the inhabitants have been vaccinated.
In the name of God, I ask financial groups and international credit institutions to allow poor countries to assure "the basic needs of their people" and to cancel those debts that so often are contracted against the interests of those same peoples.
In the name of God, I ask the great extractive industries -- mining, oil, forestry, real estate, agribusiness -- to stop destroying forests, wetlands and mountains, to stop polluting rivers and seas, to stop poisoning food and people.
In the name of God, I ask the great food corporations to stop imposing monopolistic systems of production and distribution that inflate prices and end up withholding bread from the hungry.
In the name of God, I ask arms manufacturers and dealers to completely stop their activity, because it foments violence and war, it contributes to those awful geopolitical games which cost millions of lives displaced and millions dead.
In the name of God, I ask the technology giants to stop exploiting human weakness, people's vulnerability, for the sake of profits without caring about the spread of hate speech, grooming, fake news, conspiracy theories, and political manipulation.
In the name of God, I ask the telecommunications giants to ease access to educational material and connectivity for teachers via the internet so that poor children can be educated even under quarantine.
In the name of God, I ask the media to stop the logic of post-truth, disinformation, defamation, slander and the unhealthy attraction to dirt and scandal, and to contribute to human fraternity and empathy with those who are most deeply damaged.
In the name of God, I call on powerful countries to stop aggression, blockades and unilateral sanctions against any country anywhere on earth. No to neo-colonialism. Conflicts must be resolved in multilateral fora such as the United Nations. We have already seen how unilateral interventions, invasions and occupations end up; even if they are justified by noble motives and fine words.
This system, with its relentless logic of profit, is escaping all human control. It is time to slow the locomotive down, an out-of-control locomotive hurtling towards the abyss. There is still time.
By Philip Pullella
Announcement: The Good News - It's Raining!!!
The Bad News for the Barbecue - Rain and Cold forecast
I am looking at the weather reports for the days ahead...and being the daughter of a meteorologist/weatherman, I think our BBQ scheduled for this Saturday, will have to be delayed until we get “better BBQ weather.” I am so sorry to disappoint you! I was so looking forward to being together over a great hotdog or hamburger, but rain and cold weather are not he best way to enjoy our outside BBQ.
So, please know we will try to reschedule when we can. In the meantime I encourage you to give Bill a call when you can. Both his home phone (707-538-9664) and cell phone (707-490-5416) should be working. I usually try to call him after his mealtimes at the Oakmont Gardens dining room (after 8:30, 12:30, or 5:30 or so) and away from his nap time (3 to 4:30 or so).
Thank you in advance for your willingness to get together...I promise, we WILL get together just as soon as we can!
Much love and so many blessings to you!