Prelates Urge Köhler on Aid to Poor Nations

Delegation in Berlin to Discuss G-8 Summit

BERLIN, MAY 2, 2007 ( A delegation of prelates from around the world met with German President Horst Köhler and urged him to consider the plight of developing countries.

The 10 bishops, led by Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, met today with Köhler in Berlin as part of a tour looking toward the G-8 conference to be held in June in Heiligendamm. Germany currently has the presidency of the European Union and will lead the G-8 conference.

The tour is part of an international Catholic campaign, “Make Aid Work. The World Can’t Wait,” calling on G-8 governments to increase aid and ensure it effectively targets poverty.

Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras gave the president a statement detailing their concern about aid being offered to developing countries and asking for an increase.

They also asked for a rapid and unconditional cancellation of debts, as Benedict XVI requested in a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“We are going to continue this dialogue with the representatives of the German government, just as we did in Great Britain and as we will do in Italy,” Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga said on Tuesday. The bishops met with Tony Blair on Monday.

The delegation plans to meet with Benedict XVI on Friday to brief him on the results of their tour.