As the Roman Catholic Church leader, Pope Francis prepares to address the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, many Catholics in South Africa have praised him for highlighting the plight of the poor and vulnerable.
Pope Francis has frequently denounced capitalism describing it as an economic system that idolizes money over people.
Studio 7 speaks to congregants of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Johannesburg who say the world will only become a better place for all when the spirit of selfishness has been replaced by that of sharing and putting others first.
They believe that out of all the discussions Pope Francis had during this trip, they were encouraged by his anti-capitalism stance expressed in his call for the poor and vulnerable to be taken care of.
In his brief remarks at the White House in Washington on Thursday, the Pope urged the Americans to care for the poor.
“I would like all men and women, in this great nation to support the efforts of the international community to protect the vulnerable in our world and to stimulate inclusive models of development.”
Zimbabwean national Samukeliso Ndlovu, a member of the Cathedral of Christ the King, agrees with Pope Francis.
“I support the Pope for asking the rich to share with the poor. It’s unfair to have individuals who are extremely rich when the majority of people are poor.”
CATHEDRAL CARE TEAM
This is also what most congregants at the Cathedral of Christ the King are praying for.
This church has also put into practice, Pope Francis’s teaching of sharing. A group of volunteers calling themselves Cathedral Care Team contribute money to buy and cook food for the poor.
Zimbabwean national Lucky Ncube is one of the beneficiaries of this initiative.
Ncube says, “The food we get here is a great relief for us. We are now able to use the little money that we get for other things since food is already catered for. It is indeed a relief.”
Mercy Sangweni, 9, is one of the children who get fed every fourth Sunday of the month. “In this place they are giving us food like rice, chicken and it is helping us a lot. I wish that they can continue giving us.”
Once their tummies are full, she and others do not forget to give thanks to God.
Heather De Mink, the leader of the Care Team, says she is fully behind Pope Francis’s anti-capitalism stance.
“Pope Francis, I am glad I can be part of his mission. I don’t want people to be hungry. And if I can give one person a meal per day, it will make me very happy. Children and people shouldn’t suffer.”
GOSPEL OF SHARING
Father Thabo Motshegoa, the Administrator at the Cathedral of Christ the King, thanks the Pope for preaching the gospel of sharing.
“The rich have become so rich, at the expense of the poor where by a poor man down the street is not even able to make ends meet, where as the rich are living lavishly.”
And many Catholics in South Africa say, if Pope Francis’s gospel of caring for the poor is sufficiently preached, the world will become a better place.