Father Benzi often used to say that it is not enough to help our brothers and sisters in difficulty to bear their cross, we also need to stop production of these crosses. This is the thinking behind the Pope John XXIII Community’s commitment to non-violent action to remove the causes of injustice and marginalisation at both the political and social level.

For structural removal of the causes of injustice and marginalisation, since 2006 the Pope John XXIII Community has enjoyed Consultative Status at ECOSOC (the United Nations Economic and Social Council), thus giving us a permanent presence in Geneva.

The starting point for this work is the practical realisation of an Society of Gratuitousness that encompasses the whole of human life, starting from the weakest members.

«The human being is at the centre of the Society of Gratuitousness, seen as a living part of a living body and so if one person is unwell, the whole body is unwell and the first thought is to heal the one who is unwell.

The way this society is constructed and work organised, the exchange of goods and education all take their form from the weakest members. People with disabilities, the elderly, pregnant women and children all come to play a determining role in the entire social fabric.

Work assumes it proper function of participation in the construction of the common good and thus it is freed from being reduced to a mere production factor for making profit. This results in every person making up the social fabric being enabled to share their own gifts with the others through work.

In this society we work out how we can give people with disabilities a job rather than shutting them up in institutions. Education is organised according to those with most difficulty understanding and learning. Towns are built to make them easily accessible to elderly people, pregnant women, children, blind people and those with mobility difficulties.These are just some examples that explain how the basic criterion for the Society of Gratuitousness is the good of every person.

The principle that shapes the Society of Gratuitousness is altercentrism in contrast to the egocentrism of the profit-driven society. The dynamic generated by this principal is giving freely. The force driving all its members is the good of the others, in the knowledge that each person is a holder of the good of the other and the common good also contains what is good for the individual»

Father Oreste Benzi

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