Encyclical Holds Message for Asian Church

Journalist Highlights Action Points for Region

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BRISBANE, Australia, JULY 28, 2009 (Zenit.org).- A Sri Lankan journalist affirmed that despite a lack of commentary on «Caritas in Veritate» in the Asian media, there is a message specifically for the Church in this region.

Hector Welgampola, former executive editor of UCANews.com, affirmed this today in an article on the news agency’s Web page.

He stated that Benedict XVI’s latest encyclical, published earlier this month, gives points that are «like a charter for Asian Church action.»

Among these, the former editor pointed out the encyclical’s message that «the problem of food needs a long-term solution promoting agricultural development of poorer countries.»

This solution may include «equitable land distribution, rural infrastructures, irrigation, transport, organization of markets, and dissemination of agricultural technology.»

As well, he noted, «the economy needs a people-centered ethics that involves people in planning and implementing development programs.»

When profit becomes the main goal of business, Welgampola affirmed, «it destroys wealth and creates poverty.»

He highlighted the encyclical’s affirmation that «economic aid must involve the governments of receiving countries and civil society, including local Churches and the grassroots.»

The journalist continued, «Aid can sometimes lock people into dependence and foster oppression and exploitation in a receiving country.»

According to the Pope, he said, what developing countries need from international markets is «openness to welcome their products, thus guaranteeing their survival.»

Progress is hindered by the «exclusion of religion from the public square» as well as «religious fundamentalism,» Welgampola noted.

He continued: «States must promote centrality and integrity of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman, provide for its economic needs and respect its relational character.

«But some governments promote contraception, abortion and euthanasia.»

«True integral development,» he concluded, «as described by the Holy Father, must give attention to spiritual life, reliance upon God’s providence and mercy, love and forgiveness, self-denial, acceptance of others, justice and peace.»

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