Brian R Corbin's Reflections on Religion and Life

Living Your Faith as Citizens and Leaders in Politics, Culture, Society and Business

FIGHT POVERTY, BUILD PEACE: Pope Benedict XVI World Day of Peace


VATICAN CITY, 11 DEC 2008 (VIS) – This morning Cardinal Renato Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, presented Benedict XVI’s Message for the XLII World Day of Peace in the Press Office of the Holy See. The theme of this World Day of Peace, which will be celebrated 1 January 2009, is “Fighting Poverty to Build Peace“.


Benedict XVI’s Message, said Cardinal Martino, “returns to and develops the Message of John Paul II for the World Day of Peace 1993, which explained the reciprocal connections and conditions existing between poverty and peace”. This time the Holy Father “shows us how peace and the fight against poverty intersect: a given that constitutes one of the most stimulating assumptions, giving a proper cultural, social, and political focus to the complex themes tied to the achievement of peace in our day, which is characterized by the phenomenon of globalization”.


Regarding globalization, the Pope emphasized “the methodological meaning and the content with which to face the theme of the fight against poverty in a broad and concrete manner” and to “analyze in depth these aspects in order to identify the multiple faces of poverty today”.


“The Holy Father above all”, the cardinal continued, “is taking into consideration the role of the social sciences to measure the phenomenon of poverty … which provide quantitative data and, if poverty were merely a material problem, they would suffice to explain its characteristics. However, we know that that is not the case: there are non-material forms of poverty that are not the direct and automatic consequence of material deprivation”.


“In advanced wealthy societies, the phenomenon of affective, moral and spiritual poverty is wide-spread: many persons feel marginalized and live with various forms of malaise despite their economic prosperity. This is what is known as ‘moral underdevelopment'”.


“The Pope’s message”, concluded the cardinal, “establishes two parts in the theme of the fight against poverty … it ties in with the diverse aspects promoting peace. The first deals with the moral implications tied to poverty; in the second, the fight against poverty is tied to the need the need for a greater global solidarity”.


Filed under: Official Statements, Papal Teachings, Social Doctrine, Social Justice

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: