Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/11/2014 (5 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Eradication of poverty is actually within reach.

Pope Francis called for governments to do their part to aid the poor by redistributing wealth in a spirit of generosity. Pope Francis made the plea on Friday during a speech to U.N. Secretary General Ban Kai Moon.

Pope Francis addressed UN Secretary General Ban Kai Moon at the Vatican today.

Pope Francis addressed UN Secretary General Ban Kai Moon at the Vatican today.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/11/2014 (5 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope Francis, poor, food, poverty, eradicate


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On Friday, Pope Francis called for the United Nations to perform a "worldwide ethical mobilization" that would address the plight of the poor. Pope Francis has frequently criticized the abuses of capitalism where a greedy few view men as made for the market as opposed to the market being made for man.

Several previous popes have made similar pleas, particularly in capitalist economies where wealth flourishes, but tends to pool amongst a privileged few.

Hunger doesn't take holidays off. Do your part today!

None of this is to say that other forms of government or economic systems have their ills, for each one has peculiar flaws, however Pope Francis stressed the role governments should play in reducing poverty and hunger.

Pope Francis used the word "redistribution" in his speech, however he was not referring to the communist interpretation of the word where the rich are punitively soaked to finance the poor. Instead, Pope Francis was speaking of a fair redistribution where the wealthy recognize that they enjoy wealth produced by the labor of the poor, and those who labor and those in need should enjoy a reasonable share of that wealth.

He also spoke about how important it was to address the roots of poverty and hunger which includes caring for the environment and respecting labor and the dignity of the human person.

"Specifically, this involves challenging all forms of injustices and resisting the economy of exclusion, the throwaway culture and the culture of death which nowadays sadly risk becoming passively accepted," he said.

Pope Francis delivered his remarks from the Vatican, which some see as a return salvo at the U.N., which has been scourging the Church for its handling of the worldwide sexual abuse of children by priests. Pope Francis has conceded that the issue has been mishandled in the past, that shame is justified and the Church must make restitution while also taking steps to ensure such horrors are never repeated.

However, it must be remembered that despite this shortcoming of the past, it is the Catholic Church, not the United Nations that speaks with the highest moral authority on the planet.

Now that authority is calling upon governments and nations, including individual citizens, to do what it can to end poverty.

The end of poverty is in sight. Most people assume that poverty is an eternal fixture of life in the world, indicating that the world has never witnessed a time when absolute poverty did not exist. It should be noted that the issue of greatest concern is that of absolute poverty, not relative poverty. Under absolute poverty, people lack the bare essentials for healthy, long-term survival and productivity.

Yet, the world is very close to the eradication of absolute poverty. In the past 30 years alone, advances in technology and the efforts of governments down to individual citizens have actually reduced the percentage of people living in absolute poverty from 52 percent to 21 percent, according to the World Bank.

Earlier this year, an independent study commissioned by the UN predicted that global hunger could be eradicated by 2025. And late last year, Pope Francis called all Catholics to do their part to eradicate world hunger by 2025 by donating food to the poor.

To show that such a thing is finally possible, Americans should consider the past century of American history. Until the 1940s, Americans could fall through the cracks of a poorly managed economic system and literally starve to death. Yet today, virtually every American enjoys a standard of living that is among the highest in the world. Even the "poor" in America are poor by relative measures, and not in absolute measures. This means that the average poor person in America has a roof, basic medical care, food, and access to a variety of other life-sustaining good and services as well as opportunities.

This isn't to say that the United States has no poor people, or that their condition of relative poverty, which is actually quite serious, shouldn't be addressed. Instead, this proves that absolute poverty can be eradicated. If it can be eradicate din the United States and across Western Europe, then it can also be eradicated in the rest of the world too.

With leadership and direction, such as that provided by Pope Francis, the world can eradicate absolute poverty by 2025. However, people and governments must listen and they must act. Otherwise, the world will backslide and our goals will not be met.

Governments have a responsibility, as do individuals.

As an individual, you are asked by Pope Francis to do your part. Here is one way you can come through and fight poverty directly.

The Pope's letter, addressed to the United Nations and delivered in conjunction with his speech follows, as well as his speech.

(Vatican Radio ) Pope Francis met with executives from the United Nations Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Friday, led by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Emer McCarthy reports: RealAudioMP3

Speaking to the men and women who manage the UN's vast network of humanitarian offices, he urged them to challenge "all forms of injustice" and resist the "economy of exclusion", the "throwaway culture" and the "culture of death" which nowadays - he said - "sadly risk becoming passively accepted".


Reflecting on the UN's target for Future Sustainable Development Goals, he questioned whether in today's world, a spirit of solidarity and sharing guide all our thoughts and actions:

"Future Sustainable Development Goals must therefore be formulated and carried out with generosity and courage, so that they can have a real impact on the structural causes of poverty and hunger, attain more substantial results in protecting the environment, ensure dignified and productive labor for all, and provide appropriate protection for the family, which is an essential element in sustainable human and social development".

The Pope also pointed the executives to the Gospel story of Zacchaeus the Tax collector, as an example of how it's never too late to correct injustice

"Today, in concrete terms, an awareness of the dignity of each of our brothers and sisters whose life is sacred and inviolable from conception to natural death must lead us to share with complete freedom the goods which God's providence has placed in our hands, material goods but also intellectual and spiritual ones, and to give back generously and lavishly whatever we may have earlier unjustly refused to others".

Below please find the full text of Pope Francis' address to the UN delegation

Mr Secretary General,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to welcome you, Mr Secretary-General and the leading executive officers of the Agencies, Funds and Programmes of the United Nations and specialized Organizations, as you gather in Rome for the biannual meeting for strategic coordination of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board.

It is significant that today's meeting takes place shortly after the solemn canonization of my predecessors, Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. The new saints inspire us by their passionate concern for integral human development and for understanding between peoples. This concern was concretely expressed by the numeous visits of John Paul II to the Organizations headquartered in Rome and by his travels to New York, Geneva, Vienna, Nairobi and The Hague.

I thank you, Mr Secretary-General, for your cordial words of introduction. I thank all of you, who are primarily responsible for the international system, for the great efforts being made to ensure world peace, respect for human dignity, the protection of persons, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, and harmonious economic and social development.

The results of the Millennium Development Goals, especially in terms of education and the decrease in extreme poverty, confirm the value of the work of coordination carried out by this Chief Executives Board. At the same time, it must be kept in mind that the world's peoples deserve and expect even greater results.

An essential principle of management is the refusal to be satisfied with current results and to press forward, in the conviction that those gains are only consolidated by working to achieve even more. In the case of global political and economic organization, much more needs to be achieved, since an important part of humanity does not share in the benefits of progress and is in fact relegated to the status of second-class citizens. Future Sustainable Development Goals must therefore be formulated and carried out with generosity and courage, so that they can have a real impact on the structural causes of poverty and hunger, attain more substantial results in protecting the environment, ensure dignified and productive labor for all, and provide appropriate protection for the family, which is an essential element in sustainable human and social development. Specifically, this involves challenging all forms of injustice and resisting the "economy of exclusion", the "throwaway culture" and the "culture of death" which nowadays sadly risk becoming passively accepted.

With this in mind, I would like to remind you, as representatives of the chief agencies of global cooperation, of an incident which took place two thousand years ago and is recounted in the Gospel of Saint Luke (19:1-10). It is the encounter between Jesus Christ and the rich tax collector Zacchaeus, as a result of which Zacchaeus made a radical decision of sharing and justice, because his conscience had been awakened by the gaze of Jesus. This same spirit should be at the beginning and end of all political and economic activity. The gaze, often silent, of that part of the human family which is cast off, left behind, ought to awaken the conscience of political and economic agents and lead them to generous and courageous decisions with immediate results, like the decision of Zacchaeus. Does this spirit of solidarity and sharing guide all our thoughts and actions?

Today, in concrete terms, an awareness of the dignity of each of our brothers and sisters whose life is sacred and inviolable from conception to natural death must lead us to share with complete freedom the goods which God's providence has placed in our hands, material goods but also intellectual and spiritual ones, and to give back generously and lavishly whatever we may have earlier unjustly refused to others.

The account of Jesus and Zacchaeus teaches us that above and beyond economic and social systems and theories, there will always be a need to promote generous, effective and practical openness to the needs of others. Jesus does not ask Zacchaeus to change jobs nor does he condemn his financial activity; he simply inspires him to put everything, freely yet immediately and indisputably, at the service of others. Consequently, I do not hesitate to state, as did my predecessors (cf. JOHN PAUL II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 42-43; Centesimus Annus, 43; BENEDICT XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 6; 24-40), that equitable economic and social progress can only be attained by joining scientific and technical abilities with an unfailing commitment to solidarity accompanied by a generous and disinterested spirit of gratuitousness at every level. A contribution to this equitable development will also be made both by international activity aimed at the integral human development of all the world's peoples and by the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the State, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society.

Consequently, while encouraging you in your continuing efforts to coordinate the activity of the international agencies, which represents a service to all humanity, I urge you to work together in promoting a true, worldwide ethical mobilization which, beyond all differences of religious or political convictions, will spread and put into practice a shared ideal of fraternity and solidarity, especially with regard to the poorest and those most excluded.

Invoking divine guidance on the work of your Board, I also implore God's special blessing for you, Mr Secretary-General, for the Presidents, Directors and Secretaries General present among us, and for all the personnel of the United Nations and the other international Agencies and Bodies, and their respective families.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Living Faith

Abolish death penalty and life imprisonment, Pope Francis declares Watch

Image of The Vatican recently eliminated life imprisonment from its own penal code, Pope Francis noted.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Calling for the abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment, Pope Francis soundly denounced what he called a "penal populism." The world's prescribed cure for crime - punishment, should never overtake the pursuit for social justice, he says. LOS ... continue reading


Making a Difference - Newly beatified pope championed justice and peace

Image of Pope Paul VI addresses the UN during his 1965 appeal for peace.

By Tony Magliano

With numerous armed conflicts raging in various parts of the world, and the Vietnam War worsening, Pope Paul VI on Oct. 4, 1965 proclaimed before the U.N. General Assembly: "No more war, war never again. It is peace, peace which must guide the destinies of peoples and ... continue reading


'War does not begin in the battlefield. Wars begin in the heart,' Pope Francis says Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis addressed the topic of war. With the majority of the world engaged in some sort of battle, and it's up to the individual to realize that major conflicts begin with little things. LOS ... continue reading


Finding the Path to Peace Through Forgiveness Watch

Image of For he (Jesus) is our peace, he made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his Flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one Body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father- St Paul

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In 1999 I was a part of Project Reconciliation led by a true peacemaker, paralyzed police officer Detective Steven McDonald. This trip was a part of Steven McDonald's mission of preaching peace through forgiveness. It had the goal of helping to heal the wounds ... continue reading


The Parable of the Rich Man: Becoming Rich in What Matters To God

Image of

By Deacon Frederick K. Bartels

What leads to permanent and lasting happiness? As Jesus points out, becoming "rich in what matters to God" is the key. When we place God first, and love our neighbor as another self, we soon begin to experience a perceptible, lasting happiness that is not of this ... continue reading


Pope Paul VI closer to sainthood with beatification by Pope Francis Watch

Image of Pope Paul VI cleaned house, abolishing the pontifical court and simplifying the Curia, the Vatican's administrative arm. Pope Francis is continuing his predecessor's effort to reform to this day.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis cleared the process for sainthood for Pope Paul VI after his beatification over the weekend. Pope Paul VI led the Catholic Church through internal reform during a tumultuous time of social and political change before his death in 1978. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


We Need Courageous Bishops: Ignatius of Antioch is a Model Watch

Image of Ignatius of Antioch - I know what is to my advantage. At last I am becoming his disciple. May nothing entice me till I happily make my way to Jesus Christ! Fire, cross, struggles with wild beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs-let them come to me, provided only I make my way to Jesus Christ. I would rather die and come to Jesus Christ than be king over the entire earth. Him I seek who died for us; him I love who rose again because of us.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We need Bishops like Ignatius in this new missionary age of the Church. There is a literal assault on marriage and the family in much of the West. Yet, what the Church has to offer on the truth about marriage and the family paves the path to a future of true ... continue reading


Need a chapel? Pope Francis to rent Sistine Chapel for charity Watch

Image of Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is renting out the Sistine Chapel for charity. The decision marks the first time that the chapel has ever been rented out for charity. It will be used for a private concert hosted by Porsche. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Vatican has announced ... continue reading


On World Food Day, a reminder of Pope Francis' mission for the Church Watch

Image of It's time to ensure that everybody has enough.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today is World Food Day and we are all called to do what we can to feed others. This year's World Food Day falls during Pope Francis' 'Week of Action' where all Catholics are called to pray and act to feed the world's hungry. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Today, ... continue reading


Pope Francis: The only thing that counts for Jesus is 'faith working through love' Watch

Image of Pope Francis related former Jesuit leader Father Arrupe's lesson in humility in his recent talk.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis reiterated in his morning homily that faith is not about appearances and superficially following Church laws. The Pontiff said that God wants to see a faith that inspires action and is "working in charity" and making sacrifices for others. LOS ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2014 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. Chrysanthus was an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter