Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Poverty undermines peace

The Manila Times
Thursday, January 01, 2009

Pope Benedict slams violence in his message

Poverty and peace make no strange bedfellows, Pope Benedict XVI said in his New Year message to a world that he noted is also wracked by mindless violence.

He gave the message from the Vatican hours before January 1, 2009, which also marks World Day of Peace.

The Pope added that he sees poverty as a complex phenomenon that contributes to the compounding element in conflicts, including armed ones.

“In turn, these conflicts fuel further tragic situations of poverty,” he said in his message entitled “Fighting Poverty to Build Peace.”

The message gave reference to Pope John Paul II’s message in 1993 that called poverty as “an increasing evidence of another grave threat to peace.”

“In this context [of poverty being a peril to peace],” Pope Benedict XVI said, fighting poverty requires attentive consideration of the complex phenomenon of globalization . . . Yet the reference to globalization should also alert us to the spiritual and moral implications of the question, urging us, in our dealings with the poor, to set out from the clear recognition that we all share in a single divine plan: We are called to form one family in which all—individuals, peoples and nations—model their behavior according to the principles of fraternity and responsibility.”

But the Pope talked not only about material poverty but also about affective, moral and spiritual poverty that cripples society.

According to him, “moral underdevelopment” is seen in people whose interior lives are often disoriented and without moral compass despite the economic prosperity that they are enjoying because of “superdevelopment.”


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