In his World Day for Peace
message, on January 1st, the Pope asked the international community to fight
poverty, which remains a cause for conflicts, and that the large economic
growth in China and India are evidence that population increase is to blame for
Benedict XVI underlined the moral implications of poverty. He
said even wealthy countries are afflicted with marginalization, moral and
spiritual poverty and a lack of solidarity. That's why in order to change the
structures of power that rule societies today, we need to change lifestyles and
the models of production and consumption.
With the message presented at
the Vatican, "Fighting poverty, build peace," the Pope reflected on the economic
crisis and said that the mechanisms of international finances are too often
handled by goals for the short term, and that needs to be reformed.
Card Renato Raffaele Martino
President, Pontifical Council for
Justice and PeaceWhen the market is left to its own devices, its sole
purpose is to make as much money as possible and this is immoral. Profit is
necessary, otherwise the market wouldn't exist at all, but it must be reached
within the control of the institutions, of the State, of the consumers, and
taking into account all those who helped to produce these benefits, like workers
and all those who should be able to reap the benefits. So far, it was not like
this and therefore it is urgent that this crisis make everyone rethink the
Benedict XVI called for rich countries to take an introspective
look at the effects of their arms race: while hunger struck 40 million people
more than last year - which means nearly one billion people in the world - rich
countries have increased expenses on armaments. Card Renato Raffaele
President, Pontifical Council for Justice and PeaceWorld military expenditure in 2007 was equivalent to 1339 billion dollars,
an increase of 6% compared to 2006 (1.204 billion dollars) and an increase of
45% compared to the decade 1998-2007.
The message of this year seems to
be a warning about the need to regulate globalization, international trade and
aid for development. Perhaps it's a sneak peak at the Pope's social encyclical,
"Caritas in veritate", expected to be published in January.