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|Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:10 pm Post subject: Hunger Is Unacceptable in 2007, Says Pope
|Hunger Is Unacceptable in 2007, Says Pope
Migration and Attacks on Life Are Other Concerns
VATICAN CITY, JAN. 8, 2007 (Zenit.org <http://www.zenit.org>).- Benedict XVI says that the scandal of hunger calls for a change in ways of living, as the planet has sufficient resources for all its inhabitants.
The Pope made these comments today during the first part of his address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, in which he expressed his concerns about the situation of the world at the beginning of 2007.
The Holy Father said: "Among the key issues, how can we not think of the millions of people, especially women and children, who lack water, food, or shelter?
"The worsening scandal of hunger is unacceptable in a world which has the resources, the knowledge and the means available to bring it to an end."
"It impels us to change our way of life," the Pontiff continued, "it reminds us of the urgent need to eliminate the structural causes of global economic dysfunction and to correct models of growth that seem incapable of guaranteeing respect for the environment and for integral human development, both now and in the future."
The Bishop of Rome invited "the leaders of the wealthiest nations to take the necessary steps to ensure that poor countries, which often have a wealth of natural resources, are able to benefit from the fruits of goods that are rightfully theirs."
Benedict XVI made two requests: to resume "the trade negotiations of the Doha Development Round of the World Trade Organization," and to continue and accelerate "the process of debt cancellation and reduction for the poorest countries."
"At the same time, these processes must not be made conditional upon structural adjustments that are detrimental to the most vulnerable populations," he added.
Crisis in disarmament
The Pope also expressed concern regarding the "difficulties in negotiations over conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction" and "the rise in global military expenditure."
"Security issues -- aggravated by terrorism, which is to be utterly condemned -- must be approached from a global and far-sighted perspective," he noted.
The Holy Father also mentioned the lack of support for organizations dealing with "humanitarian crises." They need "greater support, so that they can be equipped to provide protection and assistance to the victims."
Emigration is another of the Pontiff's concerns, as "millions of men and women are forced to leave their homes or their native lands because of violence or in order to seek more dignified living conditions."
"It is an illusion to think that migration can be blocked or checked simply by force. Migration and the problems to which it gives rise must be addressed humanely, with justice and compassion," he said.
Attacks on Life
The Bishop of Rome expressed his alarm over "the continuous attacks on life, from conception to natural death," which take place in the world.
Benedict XVI said: "Such attacks do not even spare regions with a traditional culture of respecting life, such as Africa, where there is an attempt to trivialize abortion surreptitiously, both through the Maputo Protocol and through the plan of action adopted by the health ministers of the African Union -- shortly to be submitted to the Summit of Heads of State and Heads of Government.
"Equally, there are mounting threats to the natural composition of the family based on the marriage of a man and a woman, and attempts to relativize it by giving it the same status as other radically different forms of union.
"All this offends and helps to destabilize the family by concealing its specific nature and its unique social role."
The Pope mentioned "[o]ther forms of attack on life" which "are sometimes committed in the name of scientific research."
"There is a growing conviction that research is subject only to the laws that it chooses for itself and that it is limited only by its own possibilities," the Holy Father explained. "This is the case, for example, in attempts to legitimize human cloning for supposedly therapeutic ends