"Listen to the Cry of the Poor," Urges Benedict XVI

On the Eve of World Day Against Poverty

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 16, 2005 (Zenit.org).- On the eve of the World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty, Benedict XVI made an appeal to intensify action against this global scourge.

“Poverty is a scourge against which humanity must struggle ceaselessly,” the Pope said today at the conclusion of the midday Angelus.

“We are called to an ever greater solidarity so that no one will be excluded from society,” he said in French to the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

After saying that his prayer “extends to the poor who struggle with courage to live with dignity, with concern for their family and the needs of their brothers,” the Pope greeted “all those who are at the service of needy people.”

The Pontiff invited “the civil authorities and leaders to listen to the cry of the poor and to intensify their actions in the struggle against poverty.”

The World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty was established Oct. 17, 1987, by Father Joseph Wresinski, founder of the ATD Fourth World Movement, when he placed a plaque “for the victims of poverty” in the courtyard of the Trocadero in Paris.

The United Nations took up the initiative in 1992.

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