Pontiff has declared caring for the poor, destitute and the helpless as important as opposing abortions. Rebuking narrow-minded Catholics who focus primarily on fighting against abortions excluding all other issues, he writes: “Some Catholics consider it (the situation of migrants) a secondary issue compared to the ‘grave’ bioethical questions”.
Pope Francis in his major teaching called an apostolic exhortation; he encouraged the Catholics to pursue a holy life. He warned the world about the devil in his 100-page booklet titled: “Rejoice and Be Glad; On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World.”
“Holiness is the most attractive face of the Church. But even outside the Catholic Church and in very different contexts, the Holy Spirit raises up “signs of his presence which help Christ’s followers”. Saint John Paul II reminded us that “the witness to Christ borne even to the shedding of blood has become a common inheritance of Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and Protestants”. In the moving ecumenical commemoration held in the Colosseum during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, he stated that the martyrs are “a heritage which speaks more powerfully than all the causes of division”.
“To be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or a religious. We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves. Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy by living out your commitment with joy. Are you married? Be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ does for the Church.
Do you work for a living? Be holy by labouring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters. Are you a parent or grandparent? Be holy by patiently teaching the little ones how to follow Jesus. Are you in a position of authority? Be holy by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain”, the Pontiff wrote in Chapter one.
Pope Francis further pointed fingers at the Catholic anti-abortion activists who focus entirely on opposing abortion, saying that helping the poor and immigrants is equally important as taking a firm stance against abortion. He likened this to “a politician looking for votes.”
The Pontiff further said that a Christian should “stand in the shoes of those brothers and sisters of ours who risk their lives to offer a future to their children.” He wrote: “Our defense of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate”, adding “Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged…”