Jan 172015
Pope Francis on Saturday pushed for political and economic policies that will benefit the poor in the Philippines, calling on those responsible for society to renew their commitment to making life better for the less fortunate.

In his prepared speech for his meeting with survivors of Yolanda-hit areas in Leyte, Pope Francis called on “all responsible for the good of society, to renew your commitment to social justice and the betterment of the poor, both here and in the Philippines as a whole.”

“Today, from this place which has known such profound suffering and human need, I ask that even more be done for the poor,” Pope Francis said in the speech that was meant to be delivered before survivors, particularly the poor, at the Palo Cathedral.

The speech was left undelivered as Pope Francis had to leave at 1 p.m. four hours earlier than scheduled due to an oncoming tropical cyclone that made a return flight to Manila later in the afternoon too dangerous. 

Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican Press Office, later said in a news briefing that the speech although undelivered at the venue could already be referenced by the public and the media.

The speech was also posted on the Vatican website.

“Above all, I ask that the poor throughout this country be treated fairly—that their dignity be respected, that political and economic policies be just and inclusive, that opportunities for employment and education be developed, and that obstacles to the delivery of social services be removed,” Pope Francis said.

“Our treatment of the poor is the criterion on which each of us will be judged (cf. Mt 25:40, 45). I ask all of you, and all responsible for the good of society,” he added. —NB, GMA News

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