Reject inertia of 'Mannequin Challenge,' reach out to refugees, pope says

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When it comes to helping the poor, the
marginalized and refugees, Pope Francis urged Catholics not to mimic the
“Mannequin Challenge”
by just looking on, frozen and immobile.

The video version of his prayer intention for February
begins with a street scene of people doing a “Mannequin Challenge,” the
viral internet craze in which people freeze while music plays in the background.

The prayer intention and “The Pope Video”
illustrating it are distributed by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network,
formerly known as the Apostleship of Prayer.

The intention the pope chose for February is: “That all
those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees and marginalized, may
find welcome and comfort in our communities.”

“We live in cities that throw up skyscrapers and
shopping centers and strike big real estate deals, but they abandon a part of
themselves to marginal settlements on the periphery,” the pope says in the
video. “The result of this situation is that great sections of the
population are excluded and marginalized: without a job, without options,
without a way out.”

“Don’t abandon them,” the pope pleads.

The video image then shows the previously mannequin-like
actors reaching out to help a young man who was shivering against a building.

“Pray with me,” the pope says, repeating the
prayer intention that people would find “welcome and comfort in our

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Editors: The video in English can be found at:

The video in its original Spanish is at:

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