Pope Francis Sends Message to 7th Summit of the Americas

Pope Says ‘Evils’ Will Persist as Long as Inequality, Poverty Remain Status Quo

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Pope Francis has sent a message to the 7th Summit of the Americas taking place in Panama.

In the message that was delivered by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who is participating in the summit, to the president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez, the Pontiff touched on various issues, including poverty and inequality and what governments are called to do.

With the theme «Prosperity with Equity: the Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas,» the two-day summit hosted in Panama brings together the heads of 35 states in North, Central and South America.

Sacrificed dignity

The Pope spoke of conflict and violence among peoples, saying a source of this is the “inequity, unjust distribution of wealth and resources” in the region.

The Holy Father denounced that some assume that progress requires sacrificing others and their dignity.

He noted that achieving ‘well being’ for some cannot involve treating others unjustly, and argued that no human being should be denied basic goods, like shelter and food, or public services, like health care and education.

The Pope also said that indifference and inequality present nowadays will allow the ‘evils’ of society today to continue taking hold.

Hence, he called for direct action from governments to help the poor, and exhorted them to recognize the reality of immigration.

Pope Francis encouraged the leaders to work together towards the common good, saying, “Efforts to build bridges, channels of communication and the building of relations, are never sought in vain.”

Last month, ZENIT spoke to Cardinal Parolin about the importance of this meeting and his participation in it: «The Summit of the Americas is important because for the first time all the nations and countries of America are participating. This movement of approaching between the United States and Cuba is significant. It is an occasion for the continents to grow and to form a greater basis for having greater roles and collaboration.»

On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text of message: 


Interview with Cardinal Parolin: 


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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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