Thursday, January 08, 2009

Pope reviews conflicts around the globe, asserts need for fighting poverty

Vatican City, Jan 8, 2009 / 11:52 am (CNA).- Build peace by fighting moral and material poverty, the Pope said today as he gathered diplomats from the more than 175 States that the Vatican maintains relations with and offered his assessment of the different situations faced around the globe.

The Holy Father began his annual address to the diplomatic corps by expressing his closeness to all those who have suffered either from natural disasters, such as the earthquakes in China, or from terrorist attacks which have "sown death and destruction in countries like Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Algeria."

The lack of peace around the world, the Pope said, requires that everyone redouble their efforts "on behalf of security and development." Peace, he said, "cannot be built when military expenses divert enormous human and material resources from projects for development, especially the development of the poorest peoples."

The Holy Father then turned to his message for this year's World Day of Peace, which had as its theme "Fighting Poverty To Build Peace." He pointed out that "to build peace, we need to give new hope to the poor."

Giving new hope to the poor, he stressed, must address both the material and moral levels."There is an urgent need to adopt an effective strategy to fight hunger and to promote local agricultural development, all the more so since the number of the poor is increasing even within rich countries. ... On a deeper level, bolstering the economy demands rebuilding confidence. This goal will only be reached by implementing an ethics based on the innate dignity of the human person."


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