Holy Father Exhorts Ecuador to Recover Social Trust

Receives Credentials of Country’s New Ambassador

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 29, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI appealed to the civil authorities and politicians of Ecuador for honesty and transparency so that the country can return to a climate of credibility and trust.

The Pope made his appeal today when receiving the credentials of Francisco Salazar Alvarado, the new Ecuadorian ambassador to the Holy See, who earlier served in this post from 1984-1988.

As a priority, the Holy Father called for policies in favor of the poor, especially the Indians.

In his address, Benedict XVI encouraged the objectives transmitted to him by the ambassador on behalf of President Alfredo Palacio González’s government, to “combat corruption in all its forms, to reduce inequality between those who have everything and those who lack basic goods such as education, health care and housing, combining initiatives to continue to build a better nation.”

“In fact, transparency and honesty in public administration foster a climate of credibility and trust of citizens in their authorities, and are the basis for a fitting and just development,” said the Holy Father, who met the ambassador at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome.

The Bishop of Rome applauded the initiatives under way, inspired by “the teachings of the social doctrine of the Church, which invites administrative entities to put into practice the principle of subsidiarity as the effective means to address so many concrete needs.”

All can contribute

As explained in No. 189 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, “subsidiarity” means not only that the state recognizes the role of freedom of action of the groups that make up the society, but that it also offers the help they might need to carry out their functions.

Every person, family and group has something original to offer to the community, notes No. 187 of the Compendium, and a denial of this role limits, or even destroys, the spirit of freedom and initiative. According to this principle, participation is one of the pillars of the democratic system.

Benedict XVI also appealed to Ecuador to assume as “a fundamental priority” the effort to “satisfy the needs of the most disinherited.”

“Among those who suffer the most, many belong to indigenous peoples, who in the main are sunk in poverty and marginalization,” he said. Some of the more reliable sources estimate that 25% of Ecuador’s population is Indian.

The Pope assured said that “those in charge of official entities will find in the Church in Ecuador” despite the paucity of its resources, “the strength of its firm convictions, adequate collaboration in seeking just solutions, recognizing efforts to make the awareness and responsibility of citizens grow and fomenting the participation of all.”

About 91% of Ecuador’s 13.3 million inhabitants are baptized Catholics.

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