Category: Holysee

Poverty Reduction Is An Urgent Priority

On the positive side, the archbishop noted, the crisis has “given rise to unprecedented international political cooperation, evident in the three successive high-level G-20 meetings in Washington, London, and Pittsburgh during 2009.” These meetings “were able to reach agreement on emergency measures to reignite the world economy, including fiscal and monetary stimulus packages that have prevented a global catastrophe,” he affirmed. Nevertheless, Archbishop Migliore added, “the stabilization of some economies, or the recovery of others, does not mean that the crisis is over.” “Indeed, the whole world economy, where countries are highly interdependent, will never be able to function smoothly if the conditions that generated the crisis persist, especially when fundamental inequalities in income and wealth among individuals and between nations continue,” he asserted. Thus, the Holy See representative emphasized the view “that we cannot wait for a definitive and permanent recovery of the global economy to take action.” He explained that “a significant reason is that the reactivation of the economies of the world’s poorest people will surely help guarantee a universal and sustainable recovery.” And added: “But the most important reason is the moral imperative: not to leave a whole generation, nearly a fifth of the world’s population, in extreme poverty.” He underlined the “urgent need to reform, strengthen and modernize the whole funding system for developing countries as well as U.N. programs, including the specialized agencies and regional organizations, making them more efficient, transparent, and well coordinated, both internationally and locally.” “In the same vein,” the archbishop added, “the crisis has highlighted the urgent need to proceed with the reform of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, whose structures and procedures must reflect the realities of today’s world and no longer those of the post World War II period.”  Archbishop Migliore concluded: “We should not forget that the same world that could find, within a few weeks, trillions of dollars to rescue banks and financial investment institutions, has not yet managed to find 1% of that amount for the needs of the hungry.”  

The Authority To Evangelize Comes From The Holy Spirit

Referring to a phrase from his latest encyclical, the Holy Father said: “Evangelization is an immense mission, especially in our time, in which humanity suffers from a certain lack of reflection and deep thought and in which a humanism is spreading that excludes God. Because of this, it is still more urgent and necessary to illumine the new problems that arise with the light of the Gospel which does not change.” Christ is the main propelling force for true human development, the Pontiff affirmed, and he quoted his words from the beginning of his pontificate: “The purpose of our lives is to reveal God to men. And only where God is seen does life truly begin.” In this context, the Bishop of Rome affirmed that the “preaching of the Gospel is an inestimable service that the Church can offer the whole of humanity that journeys in history.” He noted how the Gospel proclamation is a “message that penetrates history” and thus offers its guidance through the changes that humanity endures. “The preaching of the Gospel is the call to the freedom of the children of God,” the Pontiff continued.  However, Benedict XVI also acknowledged that “whoever participates in Christ’s mission must inevitably face tribulations, rejection and sufferings, because he is confronted with the resistance and powers of this world.” He added: “As the Apostle Paul demonstrated the authenticity of his apostolate with the persecutions, the wounds and the torments suffered, so persecution is also proof of the authenticity of our apostolic mission.” Nevertheless, it is the Holy Spirit that gives the Church authority to proclaim the Gospel, the Holy Father said. And in that regard, he affirmed that “evangelization needs Christians with arms raised to God in a gesture of prayer, Christians moved by the awareness that the conversion of the world to Christ is not done by us, but is given.”  

To Eradicate Poverty Is An Obligation

The prelate noted that “poverty is a reality even in so-called affluent societies, and not just in economically poorer countries.” And added: “Poverty profoundly affects the dignity of the human person. The human person deprived of the basic conditions to live decently, is humiliated, and must, therefore, be helped to recover. (…) It affects mainly those who are not capable of a decent livelihood, especially the children, the disabled, the elderly, and women. In fact, almost half of those living in absolute poverty today are children.”  “Unfortunately,” Archbishop Chullikatt noted, “the combined food, fuel, and financial crises since 2008 have slowed down, and even reversed progress towards eradication of poverty in many developing countries around the world.” The prelate reported that “64 million more people are estimated to be living in extreme poverty in 2010 while some 40 million more went hungry last year because of the food, fuel, and financial crises.” He continued: “By 2015, 1.2 million more children under five may die, 350,000 more students may not complete primary school, and some 100 million more people may remain without access to safe water. Now, more than ever, is the time to recommit efforts towards such poverty eradication.” The Archbishop asserted that “eradication of poverty should not be considered as an act of charity but rather as an obligation of the international community.” “We have the means to bring poverty to an end,” he concluded. “Let us now demonstrate to the skeptics that we have the will to alleviate the suffering of those who go without the basic needs that everyone should have!”    

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