Do You Suffer From Globalized Indifference?Deborah Wright | November 3, 2014
Throughout Pope Francis’ time as Bishop of Rome, he has called for an “end to the globalization of indifference.” Pope Francis speaks out against a culture that is motivated by self-comfort and that lacks compassion for the suffering of others. While mass communication and technological advances have made it possible to be more connected as a global community than ever before, they can also lead to an individualistic mentality where apathy takes precedence. Pope Francis calls for an end to our indifference in his homily on the island of Lampedusa as he speaks to the migrants displaced after the Arab Springs uprising. He states that, “Today no one in the world feels responsible for this; we have lost the sense of fraternal responsibility.”
So where’s the action? When we learn that thousands of innocents are losing their lives in Pakistan our response should be anything but apathy; we should instantly fall on our knees in prayer. Or better yet, let’s take a look at the Ebola crisis. Ebola infects one American in Texas and there is a widespread panic, accompanied by a media-frenzy. Where was this action when Ebola was killing thousands in Africa? Where is the fraternal responsibility in that?
In a globalized world that fuels a false sense of anonymity, are we driven to choose an economic system that perpetuates massive global inequality for our own benefit? Are we apathetic as witnesses to Christ? The Church tells us to act, do we? Do we love the weak and the marginalized?
Pope Francis continually cries out against indifference to others and calls Christians to act according to the truth of the gospel. He encourages Christians to know what their faith calls them to do: to serve. When addressing the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, Pope Francis spoke of, “The importance of credible Christian witness to overcome indifference in religious illiteracy.” He went on to state that, “What we need most is credible witnesses who show the beauty of God’s love through their words and their lives.”
This is coming from a man who truly embraces the essence of Christian living. As a Pope who makes headlines for his simplistic lifestyle and is known for sneaking out of the Vatican at night to serve the poor, Pope Francis genuinely embraces the marginalized. After all, he did take the name of the Saint who denounced his own father’s riches, taking up a life of poverty and service.
Pope Francis calls for a reawakening of consciousness within each of us. So wake up, take notice, live your faith! As Pope Francis called the youth of the church to “bota fé” or “put on faith” in Rio de Janeiro, let us follow his advice. We must love those around us (literally the person right next to you!). We must prepare the best we can. Because we have work to do.
“Who among us has wept for these things, and things like this?” Who has wept for the deaths of these brothers and sisters? Who has wept for the people who were on the boat? For the young mothers carrying their babies? For these men who wanted something to support their families? We are a society that has forgotten the experience of weeping, of “suffering with”: the globalization of indifference has taken from us the ability to weep!” –Pope Francis, Homily at Lampedusa
*Featured image from The Diocese of Camden Life & Justice Ministries on WordPress.