Laudato Si 149: Love Overcomes Crime

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. In the world’s gated communities, crime is not tolerated, of course. Not crimes committed openly, that is.

149. The extreme poverty experienced in areas lacking harmony, open spaces or potential for integration, can lead to incidents of brutality and to exploitation by criminal organizations.

Not surprising that Pope Francis would speak of this–he has been consistently outspoken against organized crime.

In the unstable neighborhoods of mega-cities, the daily experience of overcrowding and social anonymity can create a sense of uprootedness which spawns antisocial behavior and violence. Nonetheless, I wish to insist that love always proves more powerful. Many people in these conditions are able to weave bonds of belonging and togetherness which convert overcrowding into an experience of community in which the walls of the ego are torn down and the barriers of selfishness overcome. This experience of a communitarian salvation often generates creative ideas for the improvement of a building or a neighborhood.*

* Some authors have emphasized the values frequently found, for example, in the villas, chabolas or favelas of Latin America: cf. Juan Carlos Scannone, S.J., “La irrupción del pobre y la lógica de la gratuidad”, in Juan Carlos Scannone and Marcelo Perine (eds.), Irrupción del pobre y quehacer filosófico. Hacia una nueva racionalidad, Buenos Aires, 1993, 225-230.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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