Caritas: People More Important Than Money

Charity Hosts Meeting in Rio During UN Conference

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By Maria Emilia Marega

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, JUNE 20, 2012 ( In a position paper addressed to the Preparatory Committee of the Rio+20 U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, the Holy See stated that “at the center of sustainable development is the human person.» With this statement in mind, members of Caritas Internationalis held a meeting in Brazil on Monday to reflect on issues related to sustainable development while focusing on solidaristic development.

One of the proposals “was to engage in dialogue with different States and countries, to make known our reflections on issues of sustainable development, in the perspective of development centered on solidarity,” explained Ademar Bertucci, member of the National Coordination of Caritas-Brazil, in a note published by the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro.

Bertucci explained that, notwithstanding the fact that the main topic of Rio+20 is related to the green economy, this is not the essential point for Caritas.

In the document circulated by the institution regarding Rio+20, five elements are highlighted as essential for change: a future without hunger; a future with vision; a future of housing creation; a future with a new green economic framework; and a future that respects women and men created in the image of God.

“The entire document is concerned with the way we address the economic question, with the exception of the points linked to the green economy, affirms that the market economic perspective cannot be above the perspective of the human person,” said Bertucci.

The Caritas-Brazil meeting took place one day after the Eucharistic celebration presided over by Archbishop Orani Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro on the occasion of the Summit of Nations as well as the Rio+20 conference.

During the Mass, Archbishop Tempesta stressed the direction outlined by the Aparecida document: ”We must endeavor, to find an alternative model of development, both integral and solidaristic, that is based on ethical conduct that includes responsibility for an authentic natural and human ecology. It must also be based on the gospel of justice, solidarity and the universal destiny of goods, while surmounting the utilitarian, individualistic and consumerist logic.”

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