Worst poverty is lack of faith, no meaning in life, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- There is no greater poverty than a life without faith in God, Pope Francis said in a recent message.

The world needs hope, people's talents and Gospel values, he said in a series of messages to Catholic organizations in late November.

In a letter sent Nov. 26 to mark the 30th anniversary of the international forum Catholic Action, the pope encouraged members to continue to seek out and discover where people and their lives are heading, "without prejudice, without fear, without categorizing and without feeling that we are the regulators of anyone's faith."

"I invite you to be there, where your interests, your concerns, your deepest wounds and your greatest anxieties go," he said in the written message.

"We know that there is no greater poverty than not having God, that is, living without faith that gives meaning to life, without hope that gives us strength to work, without feeling loved by someone who does not disappoint," the pope wrote. "This is the place where and the people with whom Catholic Action must fulfill its mission."

The group held an event online Nov. 26-27 celebrating the 30th anniversary of the forums, which were established to allow for greater openness and encounter of Catholic Action groups at a universal level.