Catholics are called to be God’s people, not God’s elite, Pope Francis said in a video message Monday.

In the message to a virtual meeting of judges, released Nov. 30, the pope said that those who truly sought social justice did not regard themselves as “an enlightened elite,” but rather as a people dedicated to “the work of including, integrating and raising the fallen.”

He said: “And, from the Gospel, what God asks of us believers is to be God’s people, not God’s elite. Because those who go the way of ‘God’s elite’ end up in the so well-known elitist clericalisms that, out there, work for the people, but nothing with the people, without feeling like a people.”

The pope was addressing judges belonging to the recently formed Committee for Social Rights of Africa and America. The judges — from 18 countries including the United States — were meeting online for a two-day event entitled “Building the new social justice.”

The Committee brings together two groups under the aegis of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences: the Pan-American Committee of Judges for Social Rights and Franciscan Doctrine, formally established on June 4, 2019, and the Pan-African Committee of Judges for Social Rights and Franciscan Doctrine.

The Committee draws on the magisterium of Pope Francis to promote the economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights of the world’s most vulnerable people.

In his address, the pope identified six principles which he said should guide efforts to promote social justice.

The first, he said, was to remain connected to the reality that “a small part of humanity lives in opulence, while an ever increasing number are denied dignity and their most basic rights are ignored or violated.”

The second was to remember that justice is “a collective work” and the third was to display “an attitude of commitment, following the path of the Good Samaritan.”

The fourth was the importance of remembering and drawing on the past, and the fifth was the centrality of “the people.”