Saturday, May 30, 2009

Crisis Could Turn Into "Catastrophe," Says Pope Urges Rich Nations to Increase Aid to Developing Ones

ROME, MAY 29, 2009 (

The current economic and social crisis could lead to a "catastrophe" if richer nations don't come to the aid of poorer ones, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope said this today upon receiving the letters of credence from eight new ambassadors to the Holy See. The envoys present represented Mongolia, India, Benin, New Zealand, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Namibia and Norway.He warned those present of the dangers of inequality, and the conflicts it sparks.

Speaking to the eight in French, the Pontiff noted that "in the midst of a worldwide social and economic crisis, it is necessary regain an awareness of the need to struggle in the most effective manner to establish true peace, with the aim of constructing a more just and prosperous world."

He said injustices "represent attacks against peace and create a grave risk of conflict," and that peace "cannot be built except by intervening firmly to eliminate the inequality engendered by unjust systems, and so allowing everyone a standard of living that enables them to live a dignified and prosperous existence."

Benedict XVI said the current economic crisis has particularly affected low-income countries. He noted such negative effects include "the tailing off of foreign investment, the fall in demand for raw materials and the tendency for international aid to diminish," as well as "the drop in remittances of emigrants, likewise victims of the recession, which also affects their host countries."

The Pontiff warned that the current crisis could become a "catastrophe," especially for poorer nations, as "desperation" leads people to undertake "individual or collective acts of violence that can further destabilize already-weakened societies."

One suggestion made by the Pope was for richer nations to increase aid to poorer ones, rather than cutting it, "so that the neediest countries are able to sustain their economies and consolidate social measures designed to protect the most needy sectors of the population."

He also launched an appeal for "greater fraternity and solidarity, and real global generosity," and for "developed countries to rediscover a sense of proportion and sobriety in their economies and lifestyles."

No comments: