Pope visits charity center in Mongolia, says Church not driven by proselytization

Ulaanbaatar, Sep 4 (EFE).- Pope Francis on Monday inaugurated the House of Mercy in the capital of Mongolia, a center that will take care of the most needy, victims of violence and migrants, and said that the Catholic Church’s commitment to social promotion was not driven by proselytization.

In the last event of his visit to Mongolia, where he arrived on Friday to encourage the small community of about 1,500 Catholics, the Pope went to a previously disused building in Bayangol district converted by the Church into a temporary shelter for women and minors forced to flee their homes due to violence and to provide care to homeless people.

In one of the rooms of the center, which will also serve as a temporary shelter for immigrants who arrive in the city without any point of reference, Francis recalled that when the first missionaries arrived in Ulaanbaatar in the 1990s, they immediately felt a call to charity.

The Pope said that the true progress of nations was not measured by their economic wealth but by their capacity to take care of the health, education and the growth of the people.

Pope Francis also encouraged the citizens of Mongolia to engage in volunteer work while dispelling some myths about charity work, the Vatican said on its website.

“First, the myth that only the wealthy can engage in volunteer work. Reality tells us the opposite. It is not necessary to be wealthy to do good; rather, almost always it is people of modest means who choose to devote their time, skills, and generosity to caring for others,” he said.

He also clarified that the Catholic Church’s commitment to social promotion was not driven by proselytization.

“Christians do whatever they can to alleviate the suffering of the needy, because in the person of the poor, they acknowledge Jesus, the Son of God, and, in him, the dignity of each person, called to be a son or daughter of God,” he said.

The Pope also said that charity should not become a business.

“Charity demands professionalism, but charitable works should not turn into businesses,” he said. “Rather, they should retain their freshness as works of charity where those in need can find people ready to listen to them with compassion, regardless of whatever pay they may receive,” he said.

After the event, the Pope went to the airport to board a flight back to Rome. EFE