75. We cannot ignore the fact that in cities hu-
man trafficking, the narcotics trade, the abuse
and exploitation of minors, the abandonment
of the elderly and infirm, and various forms of
corruption and criminal activity take place. At
the same time, what could be significant places
of encounter and solidarity often become places
of isolation and mutual distrust. Houses and
neighbourhoods are more often built to isolate
and protect than to connect and integrate. The
proclamation of the Gospel will be a basis for
restoring the dignity of human life in these con-
texts, for Jesus desires to pour out an abundance
of life upon our cities (cf.
10:10). The unified
and complete sense of human life that the Gos-
pel proposes is the best remedy for the ills of
our cities, even though we have to realize that a
uniform and rigid program of evangelization is
not suited to this complex reality. But to live our
human life to the fullest and to meet every chal-
lenge as a leaven of Gospel witness in every cul-
ture and in every city will make us better Chris-
tians and bear fruit in our cities.
pastoral workers
76. I feel tremendous gratitude to all those who
are committed to working in and for the Church.
Here I do not wish to discuss at length the activ-
ities of the different pastoral workers, from bish-
ops down to those who provide the most hum-
ble and hidden services. Rather, I would like to
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