Pope: There's Plenty of Food, But Too Much Egotism

Addresses FAO on Problem of World Hunger

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is citing the United Nations and other experts in affirming that global food production is capable of feeding the world population. But, he says, millions “do not have their daily bread” because of egotism.

The Pope stated this today when he received in audience participants of the 37th session of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. The session concludes Saturday.

“Poverty, underdevelopment and hence, hunger, are often the result of egoistic behavior that, coming from man’s heart, is manifested in social action, in economic exchanges, in the market conditions, in the lack of access to food, and is translated in the negation of the primary right of all persons to nourish themselves and, therefore, to be free from hunger,” the Holy Father stated.

He decried that “even food has become an object of speculations or is linked to changes in a financial market that, deprived of certain laws and poor in moral principles, seems anchored only in the goal of profit.”

The Pontiff called for a development model that would bring about genuine fraternity, “appealing to the ethical recommendation ‘to feed the hungry,’ which belongs to the sentiment of compassion and humanity inscribed in the heart of every person.”

He spoke of the plight of children, “condemned to an early death, or to delay in their physical and psychic development, or who are obliged to forms of exploitation to be able to receive a minimum of food.”

The Bishop of Rome called for a rediscovery of the value of the rural family enterprise.

“In fact, in the rural world, the traditional family nucleus makes an effort to favor agricultural production through the wise transmission of parents to children, not only of systems of cultivation or conservation and distribution of foods, but also of ways of life, of educational principles, of culture, of religiosity, of the concept of the sacredness of the person in all the phases of his existence,” he said. “The rural family is a model, not only of work but of life and of concrete expression of solidarity, where the essential role of woman is confirmed.”

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: www.zenit.org/article-32993?l=english

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