Pope Francis met with nearly 600 workers affected by the economic crisis in Molise. He listed attentively as they shared their experiences. They included a pregnant mother, concerned with the future of her children.
"Throughout the years, my job has given me the chance to look at the future with confidence, and given me the courage to build a family during these tough times. That's why I live with the fear of having to turn more and more often to social services, of families facing tougher hardships, of compromising the future of our children, and to deprive young generations of that confidence that I had, in looking with hope towards the future.”
Pope Francis also called for a balance between work and family life. He said it's important to find common ground between economic needs and ties with family and friends.
"This is 'critical', a point that allows us to discern, to assess the quality of the human economic system in which we find ourselves. And this also raises the issue of working Sundays, which affects not only believers, but it affects everyone, as an ethical choice. We are losing this free space! The question is what do we want to prioritize?”
The Pope also expressed his concern with the issue of unemployment in the Molise region, and called for a "jobs pact.”
"Not having work not only means not having the necessities of life: no. We can eat every day: we can go to Caritas, to this association or to that club, where they will give us something to eat. But that's not the problem. The problem is not being able to bring the bread home: this is serious, and this robs people of dignity! This takes away their dignity.”
During his audience with workers at the University of Molise, Pope Francis highlighted the importance of education in order to get a job. He added that it is not be the final solution the current crisis, but that it helps find solutions in an open and creative way.