G-8 Bishops Appeal for Poor Countries

Urge Civil Leaders to Consider World

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 24, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Bishops’ conference leaders from the Group of Eight nations united to send a message to their civil leaders, calling for assistance to those most affected by poverty and climate change.

The letter, dated June 22, was sent to the heads of state of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In the letter, the bishops underlined Benedict XVI’s appeal for assistance to developing countries.

They affirmed, «Ironically poor people have contributed the least to the economic crisis facing our world, but their lives and livelihoods are likely to suffer the greatest devastation because they struggle at the margins in crushing poverty.»

The prelates called on their nations to take responsibility and «promote dialogue with other powerful economies to help prevent further economic crises.»

The letter underlined the importance of «peacekeeping, so that armed conflicts do not continue to rob countries of the resources needed for development.»

The bishops acknowledged particular concern about the problem of global climate change, which puts poor countries and peoples most at risk.

They stated, «Protecting the poor and the planet are not competing causes; they are moral priorities for all people living in this world.»

The letter expressed confidence that the G-8 summit can «bring a light of hope to our world.»

It explained, «By asking first how a given policy will affect the poor and the vulnerable, you can help assure that the common good of all is served. As a human family we are only as healthy as our weakest members.»

The G-8 summit will take place July 8-10 in L’Aquila, Italy. It is becoming customary to hold a parallel religious summit to the G-8 meeting, and thus the Church leaders met for two days last week.

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Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-26268?l=english

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