Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

World Day of Peace

January 1 is the World Day of Peace. The Holy Father’s message for this day focuses on the call to promote human dignity by fight poverty around the world.

Quotes from the Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for
the Celebration of the World Day of Peace
“Fighting Poverty To Build Peace”
January 1, 2009

Poverty contributes to conflict.
“Back in 1993, my venerable Predecessor Pope John Paul II, in his Message for the World Day of Peace that year, drew attention to the negative repercussions for peace when entire populations live in poverty. Poverty is often a contributory factor or a compounding element in conflicts, including armed ones. In turn, these conflicts fuel further tragic situations of poverty. “Our world”, he wrote, “shows increasing evidence of another grave threat to peace: many individuals and indeed whole peoples are living today in conditions of extreme poverty” (no. 1).

Poverty is a threat to human dignity.
“The gap between rich and poor has become more marked, even in the most economically developed nations. This is a problem which the conscience of humanity cannot ignore, since the conditions in which a great number of people are living are an insult to their innate dignity and as a result are a threat to the authentic and harmonious progress of the world community” (no. 1).

Wealthy societies suffer from moral and spiritual poverty.
“Non-material forms of poverty exist which are not the direct and automatic consequence of material deprivation. For example, in advanced wealthy societies, there is evidence of marginalization, as well as affective, moral and spiritual poverty, seen in people whose interior lives are disoriented and who experience various forms of malaise despite their economic prosperity. On the one hand, I have in mind what is known as “moral underdevelopment”, and on the other hand the negative consequences of ‘superdevelopment’” (no. 2).

You can read more here.