Pope: Time to End "Absolutely Unacceptable" Hunger

Prays for Wisdom for Participants in UN Conference

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 14, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is urging the international community to take advantage of an upcoming U.N. meeting and make the decisions to ensure that the “absolutely unacceptable” reality of world hunger is overcome.

The Pope said this today after praying the midday Angelus with thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The Holy Father was referring to a U.N. meeting on the world financial and economic crisis and its impact on development, set for June 24-26 in New York.

“I pray for the spirit of wisdom and human solidarity for the participants in this conference and for those who are responsible for the ‘res publica’ and the fate of the planet so that the current crisis is transformed into an opportunity to focus greater attention on the dignity of every human person and to promote an equal distribution of decisional power and resources, with particular attention to the number of those living in poverty, which, unfortunately, is always growing,” the Pontiff said.

The United Nations called the three-day summit to consider what it referred to as “the worst global economic downturn since the Great Depression.”

According to the international body, “The aim [of the conference] is to identify emergency and long-term responses to mitigate the impact of the crisis, especially on vulnerable populations, and initiate a needed dialogue on the transformation of the international financial architecture.”

Benedict XVI, noting that today many nations celebrate the feast of Christ as the bread of life, Corpus Christi, said he “would like to especially remember the hundreds of millions of persons who suffer from hunger.”

“It is an absolutely unacceptable reality that is hard to control despite the efforts of recent decades,” the Pope lamented. “I hope, therefore, that at the upcoming U.N. conference and in the headquarters of international institutions the joint measures are taken by the entire international community and the strategic decisions are made — which are sometimes difficult to accept — that are necessary to ensure that everyone, in the present and the future, will have basic nourishment and a dignified life.”

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