Aide: Pontiff Has Roadmap for Hope

Offers New Development Model

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 7, 2009 ( Benedict XVI proposes a new “model of development” in order to move from the present economic and social crisis to hope, says the Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, explained in his weekly television program, Octava Dies, that this model is based in three things: justice, sobriety and solidarity.

Father Lombardi stated that an economic and social crisis that has moral causes requires a response with a moral character.

The Vatican spokesman commented on the Pope’s first homily of the New Year in which he said, that the current global economic crisis should be seen as a test field, as a challenge, and not just as an emergency to which to respond with short-term answers.

In this way, the Jesuit affirmed, the Pope proposed a new “development model,” called for “not just by the immediate financial difficulties, but by the state of the planet’s ecological health, and above all, by the cultural and moral crisis, whose symptoms are evident in every part of the world.”

The Bishop of Rome presents, according to the spokesman’s synthesis, a method for common commitment: “options of justice and sobriety, options of solidarity — which curb the insatiable avarice that gives rise to fighting and division, which moderate the mania to possess so as to be ready to share and mutually welcome.”

“The poverty of Christ himself, the history of spirituality and Christian commitment for the others, is presented to us as an efficacious example to walk in this direction,” Father Lombardi suggested. “Because the spirit of poverty, being free of egotism, is the efficient instrument that makes up capable of combating unjust material and moral poverty, which degrades human dignity and is the origin of tensions, hatred and conflicts.

“Certainly, the problems of today’s world are immensely complex, but certain starting points to seek long-term answers are rather simple and clear. Now then, what’s needed is to want to accept them.”

In this regard, the spokesman concluded by offering his wishes for a 2009 “with more wisdom, to cross from the crisis, to hope.”

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