Words for September 4
But the poor person does not exist as an inescapable fact of destiny. His or her existence is not politically neutral, and it is not ethically innocent. The poor are a by-product of the system in which we live and for which we are responsible. They are marginalized by our social and cultural world. They are the oppressed, exploited proletariat, robbed of the fruit of their labor and despoiled of their humanity. Hence the poverty of the poor is not a call to generous relief action, but a demand that we go and build a different social order.
[Gustavo Gutierrez, Peruvian theologian, priest, and social activist]
With these words, Padre Gutierrez challenged an oppressive social order, calling for a liberation theology and preferential option for the poor, but it appears social inequalities are only rising in Latin America – the region Gutierrez is from and where I work. These days, these words ring in my ears.
We have a lot of work to do.