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Christ is victorious over all that divides people, pope says

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Easter is a feast that calls Christians to gather together, make a commitment to dialogue and to work for the common good, Pope Francis said.

In Italy and in other countries, Easter Monday is a day for relaxed family gatherings and picnics because “after having celebrated Easter, one feels a need to gather again with loved ones and friends to celebrate,” the pope said April 2, before reciting the “Regina Coeli” prayer at noon with visitors in St. Peter’s Square.  Read more »

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Black Catholics at congress urged to ‘listen, learn, think, act and pray’

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Catholic News Service

ORLANDO, Fla. — United by the words of the prophet of social justice, Catholic Church leaders urged black Catholics to become active, just disciples of Christ.

More than 2,000 converged on Orlando July 6-9 for the 12th National Black Catholic Congress where speakers — clergy, lay and religious — addressed a variety of topics and concerns facing black communities and families, while urging those present to take an active, enthusiastic role in living out the Gospel as just disciples of Christ.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, center, celebrates the July 9 closing Mass of the 12th National Black Catholic Congress in Orlando, Fla.(CNS/courtesy Nancy Jo Davis, National Black Catholic Congress)

Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, center, celebrates the July 9 closing Mass of the 12th National Black Catholic Congress in Orlando, Fla.(CNS/courtesy Nancy Jo Davis, National Black Catholic Congress)

During his homily at the opening Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe, Father Patrick Smith, pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Washington, spoke about the “ridiculous power of the Christ on the cross” and how our own suffering can be offered up to God as a source of healing for others.

It is important the community does talk about its struggles, the priest said, but it also must talk about the redemptive power of God on the cross. He added while “racism ultimately leads to death … a spiritual suicide in our souls,” the truths of the Gospel sets lives free.

“That is our anger, but also our source of hope,” he said. “You and I cannot appreciate the good news unless we first face and acknowledge the bad news.”

The roots of the Black Catholic Congress stem from 1889 with layman and journalist Daniel Rudd, who brought together 100 black Catholic men to exchange and discuss questions affecting their race for not just Catholic blacks, but blacks across the country, and unite for a course of action while standing behind the Catholic Church and its values.

The group met with President Grover Cleveland during its first congress. In meeting and uniting, Father Smith said the Catholic Church demonstrated and voiced how “black Catholic lives mattered,” just as other groups have done as they convened when a group has suffered, such as with the pro-life groups who proclaim unborn lives matter.

“Black Catholics are born from the same womb of the baptismal font,” Father Smith said, adding that those gathered for the congress did not convene to achieve higher status, but rather to insist on “inclusion” because black Catholics are equal members of the body of Christ.

“And also, more importantly, (we gather) to extort and challenge ourselves to do our part and accept the responsibility in our role in the Church that God has given us. … We gather to see how to effectively evangelize because eternal life is way too important.”

Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, offered the opening keynote address that focused directly on the theme of the congress taken from the prophet Micah – “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me: Act justly, love goodness and walk humbly with your God.”

His first point reaffirmed the united community of disciples of Christ and the need of inclusion of all “children of God.”

“When Pope Francis speaks, he doesn’t speak to nations, races and tribes; he speaks to humanity invited to be disciples of Jesus. And we respond first and foremost to this,” Cardinal Turkson said. “For there is no Gospel for Africans. There is no Gospel for Americans. There is no Gospel for Italians or Europeans. There is one Gospel for all of us created in the image and likeness of God we seek to respond to. … God’s children all belong together. None are set aside, none should live on the periphery and none are excluded.”

To demonstrate the power of being a disciple of Christ, Cardinal Turkson spoke about the story from Exodus of the Israelites following Moses in the desert. He asked those gathered to envision facing the Red Sea with the waters of parted and a path sandwiched between two walls of water.

The cardinal joked “water is never concrete” and some might have questioned what would happen if there was a really big wind. But the example of the Israelites who choose to follow Moses and trust God to hold up the walls of water demonstrates the courage and attitude that modern-day Christians must hold to be baptized in Christ and become just disciples of Christ.

“That is what baptism is. It is not a nominal celebration. It is a decision to live dependent on making Jesus your everything,” Cardinal Turkson said, borrowing the words of St. Paul who said after his conversion, “The life I live now is no longer mine.” “Anyone baptized lives that life. … It is not until you surrender your life to Jesus that you will live as a just disciple of Christ.”

Justice, reconciliation and peace are tantamount to unite the church family of God. While Cardinal Turkson said challenges such as tribalism in Africa and racism and discrimination in America present struggles, the Catholic Church family is invited to live beyond divisions and live in communion as children of God.

“In this family of God we need to live justly,” he said. “When we respect the demands of our relationships, we are just.”

By Jean Gonzales, who is on the staff of the Florida Catholic, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Miami and the dioceses of Orlando, Palm Beach and Venice.

 

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Vatican official hopes Trump will change his climate and immigration policies

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VATICAN CITY — The Vatican hopes that U.S. bishops and others will continue to raise their voices in defense of the obligation to fight climate change and, in time, can persuade U.S. President Donald Trump to change his position, a top Vatican official said.

Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, is seen in this 2011 file photo. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, is seen in this 2011 file photo. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, told a group of reporters March 30 that there is concern at the Vatican over Trump’s policies, including on the environment.

Trump’s position on immigration and his efforts to roll back U.S. commitments on environmental regulations are “a challenge for us,” said the cardinal, whose office works on both questions and is charged with assisting bishops around the world as they promote Catholic social teaching.

Still, he said, “we are full of hope that things can change.”

The first sign of hope, he said, is the growing number of “dissenting voices,” who are calling attention to the scientific facts surrounding climate change and the ethical obligation to act to protect the environment for current and future generations.

“This, for us, is a sign that little by little, other positions and political voices will emerge, and so we hope that Trump himself will reconsider some of his decisions,” the cardinal said.

“Various American bishops have already spoken about the president’s position, and this could have an influence,” he said. Perhaps, Trump will come to see that not all the promises he made in the campaign would be good for the country, he added.

A change in position is not impossible, Cardinal Turkson said. “There is another superpower, China, that is rethinking its position” and has allocated funds for programs to reduce dangerous emissions. “One hopes it is not only because it is a country with ever more smog and pollution.”

The cardinal’s remarks came a day after the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development said Trump’s executive order calling for a review of the Clean Power Plan jeopardizes environmental protections and moves the country away from a national carbon standard to help meet domestic and international goals to ease greenhouse gas emissions.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the committee, said in a statement March 29 the order fails to offer a “sufficient plan for ensuring proper care for people and creation.”

Bishop Dewane suggested that an integral approach involving various components of U.S. society can reduce power plant emissions and still encourage economic growth and protect the environment.

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Pope combines four Vatican departments into one for human development

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — To promote Catholic social teaching and ensure appropriate assistance to vulnerable people, especially victims of war, refugees and the sick, Pope Francis has established a new office combing the responsibilities of four pontifical councils.

Pope Francis speaks during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Aug. 31. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis speaks during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Aug. 31. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

In an apostolic letter given “motu proprio” (on his own initiative) and published by the Vatican Aug. 31, the pope said the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development will merge the pontifical councils for Justice and Peace, Cor Unum, Migrants and Travelers, and Health Care Ministry.

The pope named Cardinal Peter Turkson, current president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, to serve as prefect of the new office, which will begin functioning Jan. 1.

In his letter signed Aug. 17, the pope said, “This dicastery will be competent particularly in issues regarding migrants, those in need, the sick, the excluded and marginalized, the imprisoned and the unemployed, as well as victims of armed conflict, natural disasters, and all forms of slavery and torture.”

According to the new statutes, the prefect will be assisted by a secretary and “at least one undersecretary.” Laypeople can be chosen for either role.

While Cardinal Turkson will lead the new office, a section dedicated to refugees and migrants will be led for the time being directly by the pope, who will “exercise it in the manner he deems appropriate,” the statutes state.

The new dicastery’s responsibilities include gathering news and information regarding areas of justice and peace and the protection of human rights, particularly in areas where people are plagued by violence, migration, slavery, torture and exploitation, the Vatican said.

The new office will work to “deepen the social doctrine of the church and ensure that it is widely known and put into practice and that social, economic and political relationships will be increasingly permeated by the spirit of the Gospel,” the press statement said.

Ensuring that local churches offer appropriate material and spiritual assistance to the sick, migrants, refugees and itinerant people also is part of the new office’s mandate.

The Dicastery for Promoting Integrating Human Development will have separate commissions for charity, ecology and health workers and will maintain a “close relationship” with the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, the Vatican said.

Pope Francis approved the statutes “ad experimentum” (on a trial basis) for an unspecified period of time.

 

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Shameful that need for clean water is not a priority, Cardinal Turkson says

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Allowing people to drink unsafe water or have no access to dependable, clean sources of water is shameful, Cardinal Peter Turkson told religious leaders.

Indian boys collect drinking water in early May from the main water supply line in Bhopa. Allowing people to drink unsafe water or have no access to dependable, clean sources of water is shameful, Cardinal Peter Turkson told religious leaders at an interfaith meeting Aug. 29 in Stockholm. (CNS photo/Sanjeev Gupta, EPA)

Indian boys collect drinking water in early May from the main water supply line in Bhopa. Allowing people to drink unsafe water or have no access to dependable, clean sources of water is shameful, Cardinal Peter Turkson told religious leaders at an interfaith meeting Aug. 29 in Stockholm. (CNS photo/Sanjeev Gupta, EPA)

“It is a continuing shame,” too, that people’s needs “are secondary to industries which take too much and that pollute what remains,” said the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

It’s also a shame “that governments pursue other priorities and ignore their parched cries,” he said in the keynote address to an interfaith meeting Aug. 29 in Stockholm, Sweden. The Vatican office sent Catholic News Service the cardinal’s written speech the same day.

The meeting on how faith-based organizations could contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals dealing with water was part of Stockholm’s annual World Water Week gathering, which seeks to find concrete solutions to global water issues. The meeting also came in the run-up to the Sept. 1 World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

With speakers representing the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist communities, the Aug. 29 meeting looked at how religious communities could promote guaranteed access to sanitation and clean water for everyone. Some 660 million people are without adequate drinking water, and every year millions, mostly children, die from diseases linked to poor water supply and sanitation, according to the United Nations.

Religious faith and practices, Cardinal Turkson said, offer the needed “motivation to virtue” that inspires people to protect human dignity and rights.

Faith-based organizations can help youth embrace the values of “solidarity, altruism and responsibility” needed to become “honest administrators and politicians,” he said.

Religious leaders could also help organize “interreligious campaigns for cleaning rivers or lakes in order to foster mutual respect, peace and friendship among different groups,” as well as promote “a wise hierarchy of priorities for the use of water,” especially where there are competing demands, he said.

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Pope Francis sends letters urging peace to South Sudan leaders

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis sent a high-ranking cardinal to South Sudan to urge a peaceful end to the escalating violence in the country.

A worker from the International Committee of the Red Cross speaks on his phone July 16 as workers prepare to move bags containing bodies of unidentified people killed in the recent fighting in Juba, South Sudan. Pope Francis sent a high-ranking cardinal to South Sudan to urge for a peaceful end to the escalating violence in the country. (CNS photo/Jok Solomun, Reuters)

A worker from the International Committee of the Red Cross speaks on his phone July 16 as workers prepare to move bags containing bodies of unidentified people killed in the recent fighting in Juba, South Sudan. Pope Francis sent a high-ranking cardinal to South Sudan to urge for a peaceful end to the escalating violence in the country. (CNS photo/Jok Solomun, Reuters)

Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, met with President Salva Kiir in the capital, Juba, July 19 and delivered two letters on the pope’s behalf — one addressed to the nation’s president and another to the vice president.

The cardinal said the letters, which the pope gave to him prior to his departure to Juba, contained a message calling for peace in the country.

The pope’s message “can be summarized like so: ‘Enough now, enough with this conflict,’” Cardinal Turkson told Vatican Radio July 20.

The Ghanaian cardinal noted that “the speed with which the pope reacted to the need of sending a message of solidarity and to call for peace is amazing.”

“Speaking to him some time ago, he told me, ‘I want to go.’ These difficult situations are always in the Holy Father’s heart,” the cardinal said.

According to SIR, the Italian bishops’ news agency, a local missionary priest confirmed the pope’s concern for the increasing violence in the country.

“We know that Pope Francis is following every evolution (of the crisis) very closely. Cardinal Peter Turkson was sent by the pope here in these days to us in Juba,” said Italian Comboni Father Daniele Moschetti, superior of the Comboni Missionaries in Juba.

For nearly a year, South Sudan has been trying to emerge from a civil war caused by political rivalry between Vice President Riek Machar and Kiir, who represent different ethnic groups. Violent clashes spread across the city and left tens of thousands of people dead since the beginning of their rivalry in December 2013.

Although a cease-fire is currently in effect in Juba, Father Moschetti said the threat of violence continues to loom large over the people and the church, which includes 350 local and international missionaries.

“The climate, including toward the church, is changing: We are all at risk,” SIR reported him as saying.

 

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Vatican marks ‘Laudato Si’’ anniversary with new website

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Catholic News Service

ROME — Marking the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace launched a new website dedicated to the document and efforts around the world to put its teaching into practice.

The site — www.laudatosi.va — “witnesses not only to the impact of the encyclical, but also the creativity and generosity of the people of God everywhere in the world,” said Cardinal Peter Turkson, council president.

A view shows ice floating on a lake last year in front of the Solheimajokull Glacier, where the ice has receded by more than 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) since annual measurements began in 1931. The Vatican has announced a website —www.laudatosi.va — on the first anniversary of Pope Francis' encyclical on care for the environment,"Laudato Si'."(CNS /Thibault Camus, pool via Reuters)

A view shows ice floating on a lake last year in front of the Solheimajokull Glacier, where the ice has receded by more than 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) since annual measurements began in 1931. The Vatican has announced a website —www.laudatosi.va — on the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for the environment,”Laudato Si’.”(CNS /Thibault Camus, pool via Reuters)

The council celebrated the first anniversary of the document, “Laudato Si’,” June 20 with a small conference at Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary in Montesanto.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, in a video message, said that as scientists, governments, economists and concerned citizens were pushing for an international agreement to combat climate change, Pope Francis’ encyclical provided the “moral imperative to take bold action.”

Published six months before the Paris summit on climate change, she said, the pope’s document raised the issue in “the hearts and minds of hundreds of millions of people who may not otherwise have considered climate in their daily lives.”

The science and economics of change to protect the environment are essential, Figueres said, but “the guidance of our moral compass” is what will made a difference.

Archimandrite Athenagoras Fasiolo, an Orthodox pastor in Treviso, presented the Italian edition of the book, “Cosmic Grace, Humble Prayer: The Ecological Vision of the Green Patriarch Bartholomew I.”

Pope Francis’ encyclical and the collected environmental reflections of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, he said, show that “the Holy Spirit does not cease to work without interruption in his church,” inspiring leaders to teach care for “all the work of God.”

Jesuit Father Michael Czerny, an official at the justice and peace council, told Catholic News Service, “Laudato Si’” does not tell people what to think, but guides them through the complexities of the issue of climate change and care for creation, and calls them to reflect on their response.

“The variety and intensity of debate” within and outside the church, he said, “is a very healthy response” because the pope wrote the encyclical to contribute to the debate and dialogue.

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Racism renders people invisible and denies human dignity, Cardinal Turkson says

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — To describe how racism can be dissolved, Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, referred to Zulu greetings in his March 3 message to an Alabama conference.

“The healing of racism begins in our own hearts. How our hearts would be shaped if everyone learned to greet each other in the Zulu manner!” Cardinal Turkson said in the message, which he called “A Word of Encouragement to the “Black and White in America: How Deep the Divide?” conference taking place March 3-4 in Birmingham.

Aryan Nations members light a cross in Maryland in this June 19, 2010, file photo. (CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA)

Aryan Nations members light a cross in Maryland in this June 19, 2010, file photo. Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson told a conference in Alabama this week that racism unleashes a host of ills into society. (CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA)

“When the Zulu people of South Africa greet someone, they say, ‘Sawubona,’ which means, ‘I see you.’ The one being greeted responds with ‘Sikhona,’ which means ‘I am here.’ The greeter ends by affirming ‘Ubuntu,’ which means, ‘We are, and so I am,’” Cardinal Turkson said.

The effect of racism, by contrast, is “to render people invisible, and from that follows the denial of human dignity, then loss of identity, then personal despair, then social and political distrust,” he added. “It unleashes a host of ills that have penetrated into every facet of life.”

The contrast “invites us to self-examination,” Cardinal Turkson said. “How often do I overlook people who differ from me and my kind? Do my biases cloud my ability to fully see another person in his or her full human dignity? Admitting my failure to see the other as human is to begin the struggle to vanquish unconscious bias and interpersonal racism.”

Cardinal Turkson also borrowed from the two popes, the U.S. bishops, a former president and even a Broadway show tune to hone his message.

He quoted from Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est” (“God Is Love”), in which the now-retired pontiff said, “Jesus’ program is ‘a heart which sees.’ This heart sees where love is needed and acts accordingly.”

“Love, says Pope Francis, brings them back in,” Cardinal Turkson added, quoting from remarks the current pope made during a 10th anniversary celebration of “Deus Caritas Est”: “From charity we learn how to see our brothers and sisters and the world. ‘Ubi amor, ibi oculus,’ say the Medievals: Where there is love, there is the ability to see.”

“Almost 30 years ago, the American Catholic bishops stated, ‘Racism is not merely one sin among many; it is a radical evil that divides the human family and denies the new creation of a redeemed world. To struggle against it means an equally radical transformation, in our own minds and hearts as well as in the structures of our society.’”

Saying that children “can readily accept differences,” but also can “be taught to hate,” the cardinal cited the “terrible lines” from a song from the musical “South Pacific” about the inculcation of racism: “You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late, before you are six or seven or eight, to hate all the people your relatives hate, you’ve got to be carefully taught!”

Adopting his own voice, Cardinal Turkson said, “Racism excludes its victims form the basic resources they need. Among these are decent housing, a good education, jobs for those who can work, upbringing for the young and care for the elderly.”

He later quoted from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, when Lincoln “so eloquently bemoaned ‘all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s 250 years of unrequited toil.’”

“Let us work to remove the personal and systemic barriers of racism that prevent us from seeing the brothers and sisters whom God created equal in his image and likeness,” Cardinal Turkson said.

Among those in attendance at the conference were Archbishop Anthony Obinna of Owerri, Nigeria, and Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham. Speakers included Archbishop Owerri; Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, Illinois; Mayors William Bell of Birmingham and Joseph Riley Jr. of Charleston, South Carolina; and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.

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Cardinal Turkson urges Catholics to ‘feel pain of the planet, the poor’

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Catholic News Service

MIAMI — Pope Francis’ right-hand man on the environment and climate change issues urged Catholics attending an academic conference here to let Christian spirituality guide their thinking and actions toward preserving the full range of God’s creation. Read more »

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Don’t be afraid to show compassion for the poor, pope tells World Economic Meeting leaders

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Don’t be afraid of acting fairly and compassionately toward the poor, Pope Francis said in a written message to global business leaders attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Homeless and the needy receive free meals on Christmas Eve in Gdansk, Poland. Pope Francis urged global business leaders attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 20 to act fairly and compassionately toward poor people. (CNS photo/Adam Warzawa, EPA)

Homeless and the needy receive free meals on Christmas Eve in Gdansk, Poland. Pope Francis urged global business leaders attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 20 to act fairly and compassionately toward poor people. (CNS photo/Adam Warzawa, EPA)

And do not let the sweeping innovations in robotics, science and technology “lead to the destruction of the human person to be replaced by a soulless machine or to the transformation of our planet into an empty garden for the enjoyment of a chosen few,” he said.

The pope’s message was read at the meeting Jan. 20 by Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The annual meeting, held Jan. 20-23, brought together more than 2,500 people representing business, government, academia, media and the arts to discuss current challenges such as global economics and security, climate change, gender parity and the so-called “fourth industrial revolution,” which refers to new technologies blending the physical, digital and biological worlds, resulting in greater interconnectivity of tools and objects that can collect and exchange real-time data.

In his written address, the pope said world leaders must “guide and govern” these new processes and “build inclusive societies based on respect for human dignity, tolerance, compassion and mercy.”

Today, he wrote, fewer opportunities “for useful and dignified employment, combined with a reduction in social security, are causing a disturbing rise in inequality and poverty in different countries.”

“Clearly there is a need to create new models of doing business which, while promoting the development of advanced technologies, are also capable of using them to create dignified work for all, to uphold and consolidate social rights, and to protect the environment. Man must guide technological development without letting himself be dominated by it,” the pope said.

He urged leaders, “Do not forget the poor,” and told them they have a duty to help those who are less fortunate to live a dignified life and develop their full potential.

“We must never allow the culture of prosperity to deaden us, to make us incapable of feeling compassion” for those who are poor and suffering, and to believe problems are someone else’s responsibility, he said.

Once people realize that “our own actions are a cause of injustice and inequality” and that “we are compelled to heed their cry for help,” the pope said, then “we become more fully human, since responsibility for our brothers and sisters is an essential part of our common humanity.”

“Do not be afraid to open your minds and hearts to the poor. In this way, you will give free rein to your economic and technical talents, and discover the happiness of a full life, which consumerism of itself cannot provide.”

Business is “a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving our world,” especially “if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good,” he said.

“I urge you, then, to take up anew your conversation on how to build the future of the planet, ‘our common home,’ and I ask you to make a united effort to pursue a sustainable and integral development.”

In the run-up to the Davos meeting, Oxfam Great Britain released its “pre-Davos report” on global economic disparity saying 1 percent of the world’s people own more than the remaining 99 percent of the earth’s inhabitants.

Today, 62 individuals “own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population,” which numbers 3.6 billion people, according to the report published Jan. 18.

“Although the number of people living in extreme poverty halved between 1990 and 2010, the average annual income of the poorest 10 percent has risen by less than $3 a year in the past quarter of a century. That equates to an increase in individuals’ daily income of less than a single cent a year,” the report said.

“Had inequality within countries not grown between 1990 and 2010, an extra 200 million people would have escaped poverty,” it added.

Solutions include diverting the billions of dollars lost to tax havens to national programs that invest in healthcare, schools and other public services, it said, as well as government mandates for “an acceptable standard of living for those at the bottom as well as for those at the top — including moving minimum wage rates toward a living wage and tackling the pay gap between men and women.”

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