“If I define my neighbor as the one I must go out to look for, on the highways and byways, in the factories and slums, on the farms and in the mines–then my world changes. This is what is happening with the "option for the poor,” for in the gospel it is the poor person who is the neighbor par excellence..
But the poor person does not exist as an inescapable fact of destiny. His or her existence is not politically neutral, and it is not ethically innocent. The poor are a by-product of the system in which we love and for which we are responsible. They are marginalized by our social and cultural world. They are the oppressed, exploited proletariat, robbed of the fruit of their labor and despoiled of their humanity. Hence the poverty of the poor is not a call to generous relief action, but a demand that we go and build a different social order.
The power of the Poor in History