Pope Francis at the II World Meeting of Popular Movements (Lidyane Ponciano)

By Vatican News staff writer

Oct 26 2020

The Vatican and Popular Movements from around the world meet virtually on Saturday to discuss some of the topics Pope Francis addressed in a letter to Popular Movements and his new encyclical “Fratelli tutti”.

Cardinals Turkson and Czerny from the Dicastery for Integral Human Development are meeting with representatives of Popular Movements on Saturday. The meeting will take place online through Zoom, YouTube, and various social networks.

The aim of the meeting is to formulate three reflections: the first one related to the post-pandemic period focusing on land, housing and work. Secondly, they will reflect on Fratelli tutti from the perspective of Popular Movements. The third reflecion on economy will take place in November.

A letter to the Popular Movements

Six months ago, Pope Francis wrote a letter addressed to the Popular Movements of the world in a moment which he described as one of “anxiety and hardships” as a consequence of  Covid-19. In that letter, he spoke in favour of the more vulnerable and humble workers, those “excluded from the benefits of globalisation” but not from their damages. He also gave Popular Movements a specific task:

“I want all of us to think about the project of integral human development that we long for and that is based on the central role and initiative of the people in all their diversity, as well as on universal access to those three Ts that you defend: Trabajo (work), Techo (housing), and Tierra (land and food).”

He also said it was the time for a universal basic wage “which would acknowledge and dignify the noble, essential tasks you carry out. It would ensure and concretely achieve the ideal, at once so human and so Christian, of no worker without rights”.

A meeting to reflect

In this context, the Popular Movements and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development are meeting together to advance the discussion the Pope opened up. They will discuss the three “T’s” he identified both in the letter and in Fratelli tutti no. 116). Representatives from Popular Movement will contribute their perspective. During the conference, there will be room for the Popular Movements to share the activities they are carrying out during these times, and there will be a presentation of the Emancipatory Integral Education Project from the Universidad Latinoamericana de las Periferias (ULPe).

Among the Popular Movements represented are: Unión de Trabajadores de la Economía Popular (Argentina), La Vía Campesina (Brasil), Slum Dwellers and the Movimiento Mundial de Trabajadores Cristianos (MMTC).