<ROME>, AUGUST 22, 2017 (Zenit.org).- “A New Humanism for Integral Social Development”: the three-day congress, held in San Salvador from August 13-16, 2017, on social pastoral care committed to the cause of the poor and marking the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI’s Encyclical Populorum Progressio, concluded with a final message on that topic.
This final document points out the “different challenges that question us today and hurt us: poverty, and the regressive tendency to it of millions of people in our countries, product of economic and political systems that value having more than being, economic profit more than life, ideologies above persons, and who take power as domination, not as liberating service.
Hence the final statement appeals to “Governments, businesses and the economic sector, to politicians, to democratic institutions, which have the responsibility to generate public policies for our peoples, to ecclesial communities and to all men and women missionary disciples., to work in solidarity for the common good, for integral and supportive development, promoting life respecting nature and our eco-systems as work of the Creator, assuming the proposals of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’.
They add that “there cannot be development without respect for Creation, without greater appreciation of the indigenous cultures and ancestral beliefs of our peoples. In sum, we must work so that every person is able to “pass from less human to more human conditions” (PP 20-21), being aware that without the development of our people, it is very difficult to achieve peace.”
Organized by a number of Departments of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), the meeting brought together representatives of 22 countries of regional Caritas social pastoral care, members of the executive team of Caritas Internationalis and special guests from Europe and the United States.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, President of Caritas Internationalis, his Secretary, Michel Roy, and the President of Caritas-El Salvador, Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez were among the 102 participants.
Over the three days, formative activities were held and times for joint reflection, in order to put together a committed program of social pastoral care, emphasizing the cause of the poor. There were also key conferences held on “Development in the Social Doctrine of the Church,” “A Theological Look at De Development” and “A Look from Caritas’ Social Pastoral Care.”
The participants also attended simultaneous workshops on “Ecology and Development,” “Equity between Men and Women,’ “Objectives of Sustainable Development” and reflection on the “Encyclical Laudato Si’ and the Care of Our Common Home.”