"If my people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
Pope Benedict XVI
In July meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, the high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations considered the current global economic crisis and possible solutions. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's Permanent Observer to the United Nations in Geneva, stressed Pope Benedict XVI's call for an ethical approach to development with a new model focused on the human person rather than profit and including all humanity. His address follows:
"The international community is struggling to find solutions to the financial and economic crisis that greed and lack of ethical responsibility have brought about. While analysts debate the causes of the crisis, the social consequences of new poverty, loss of jobs, malnutrition, and stifled development, all impact the most vulnerable groups of people and therefore call for effective and prompt answers. The Delegation of the Holy See appreciates the fact that the focus of attention is directed in this High-Level Segment, in a most timely manner, on 'Current global and national trends and their impact on social development, including public health.' The global economic crisis continues unabated. It is exacerbated by the emergence of a previously unknown influenza virus, A-H1N1 already recognized at pandemic proportion with a future impact that cannot be projected with much certainty, and by the global food security crisis that endangers the lives of millions of people, particularly the world's poorest, many of whom already suffer from acute and chronic malnutrition. These examples show once again the link between poverty and health and the disproportionate burden on developing countries and even on the poor in the developed ones. Faced with such urgent global challenges, the future is mortgaged in a way that young people risk to inherit a severely compromised economic system, a society without cohesion, and a planet damaged in its sustainability as a home for the whole human family.
If you truly want to help the soul of your neighbor, you should approach God first with all your heart. Ask Him simply to fill you with charity, the greatest of all virtues; with it you can accomplish what you desire.
— St. Vincent Ferrer
"The Holy See Delegation notes with deep concern predictions by the World Bank that during 2009, an additional 53 to 65 million people will be trapped in extreme poverty and that the number of people chronically hungry will exceed one billion, 800 million of whom live in rural areas where public health is weakest and where innovative health care initiatives are urgent. We can reasonably conclude that significant numbers of those extremely poor and hungry people will be more at risk of contracting both communicable and chronic, non-communicable diseases. Moreover, if they are faced with cutbacks in international aid or if there is an increased number of people seeking care, the already fragile public health systems in developing countries will not be able to respond adequately to the health needs of their most vulnerable citizens. In addressing this problem, even more than an expression of solidarity, it is a matter of justice to overcome the temptation to reduce public services for a short-term benefit against the long-term human cost. In the same line, aid for development should be maintained and even increased as a critical factor in renewing the economy and leading us out of the crisis . . .
"Another key obstacle to achieving the internationally articulated goals in public health is to address the inequalities that exist both between countries and within countries, and between racial and ethnic groups. Tragically, women continue in many regions to receive poorer quality health care. This situation is well known to people and institutions working on the ground. The Catholic Church sponsors 5,378 hospitals, 18,088 health clinics, 15,448 homes for the elderly and disabled, and other health care programs throughout the world, but especially in the most isolated and marginalized areas and among people who rarely enjoy access to health care provided under national, provincial, or district level governmental health schemes. In this regard, special attention is given to Africa, where the Catholic Church has pledged to continue to stand alongside the poorest people in this continent in order to uphold the inherent dignity of all persons.
"There is an increasing recognition that a plurality of actors, in the respect of the principle of subsidiarity, contribute to the implementation of the human right to primary health care. Among the civil society organizations assuring health care within various national systems, the programs sponsored by the Catholic Church and other faith-based organizations stand out as key stakeholders. WHO officials have acknowledged that such organizations 'provide a substantial portion of care in developing countries, often reaching vulnerable populations living under adverse conditions.'1 However, despite their excellent and documented record in the field of HIV service delivery and primary health care, faith-based organizations do not receive an equitable share of the resources designated to support global, national, and local health initiatives.
God has no need of your money, but the poor have. You give it to the poor, and God receives it.
— St. Augustine
"The mere quantitative tracking of aid flows and the multiplication of global health initiatives alone may not be sufficient to assure 'Health for All.' Access to primary health care and affordable life-saving drugs is vital to improving global health and fostering a shared globalized response to the basic needs of all. In an increasingly interdependent world, even sickness and viruses have no boundaries, and therefore, greater global cooperation becomes not only a practical necessity, but more importantly, an ethical imperative of solidarity. However, we must be guided by the best health care tradition that respects and promotes the right to life from conception until natural death for all regardless of race, disability, nationality, religion, sex, and socio-economic status. Failure to place the promotion of life at the center of health care decisions results in a society in which an individual's absolute right to basic health care and life would be limited by the ability to pay, by the perceived quality of life and other subjective decisions which sacrifice life and health in exchange for short-term social, economic, and political advantage.
". . . The Holy See Delegation wishes to call attention to the need for more than financial solutions to the challenges posed by the economic crisis to global efforts aimed at assuring universal access to health care. In his new encyclical Pope Benedict XVI states:
"Economic activity cannot solve all social problems through the simple application of commercial logic. This needs to be directed towards the pursuit of the common good, for which the political community in particular must also take responsibility.2
"An ethical approach to development is needed which implies a new model of global development centered on the human person rather than profit, and inclusive of the needs and aspirations of the entire human family."
(1) DeCock, Kevin (2007), "Faith-based organizations play a major role in HIV/AIDS care and treatment in sub-Saharan Africa," as quoted in press release by the World Health Organization, February 9, 2007, Washington, D.C.
(2) Benedict XVI, Encyclical letter Caritas in veritate, n. 36.
The G8 Summit was held July 8-10 in Italy. Prior to the meeting, Pope Benedict XVI sent the following letter to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who hosted the Summit. The Pope emphasized the importance of the meeting, stating: "The participation of Heads of State or Government not only of the G8 but also of many other nations will ensure that in order to find ways to a shared solution to the principal problems that are affecting the economy, peace, and international security, the decisions to be adopted can more faithfully mirror the viewpoints and expectations of the peoples of all the continents. Broadened to encompass the discussions of the . . . Summit, this participation therefore seems particularly timely, given the many problems in the world today that are highly interconnected and interdependent. I refer in particular to the challenges of the current economic and financial crisis, as well as to the disturbing data of the phenomenon of climate change. These cannot but impel us to wise discernment and new projects to ' "convert" the model of global development' (Benedict XVI, Angelus Reflection, November 12, 2006), rendering it capable of effectively promoting integral human development, inspired by the values of human solidarity and of charity in truth. Several of these themes are also treated in my third Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, which in the next few days will be released to the press.
It is difficult to become a saint. Difficult, but not impossible. The road to perfection is long as one’s lifetime. Along the way, consolation becomes rest; but as soon as your strength is restored, you must diligently get up and resume the trip.
— St. Padre Pio
"In preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, on the initiative of John Paul II, the Holy See paid great attention to the work of the G8. My venerable Predecessor was in fact convinced that the liberation of the poorest countries from the burden of debt and, more generally, the uprooting of the causes of extreme poverty in the world depended on the full assumption of shared responsibility towards all humanity, which is incumbent on the most financially developed Governments and States. These responsibilities have not diminished; on the contrary, they are even more urgent today. In the recent past partly thanks to the impetus that the Great Jubilee of 2000 gave to the search for adequate solutions to problems related to the debt and to the economic vulnerability of Africa and other poor countries, and partly thanks to the notable economic and political changes in the global scene, the majority of less developed countries has been able to enjoy a period of extraordinary growth. This has permitted many of them to hope in the achievement of the goal fixed by the international community on the threshold of the third millennium: to defeat extreme poverty by 2015. Unfortunately, the financial and economic crisis that has been besieging the entire planet since the beginning of 2008 has transformed the circumstances. Now, there is a real risk not only that hopes of emerging from extreme poverty will be extinguished but on the contrary that even populations which have until now benefited from a minimum of material well-being will sink into poverty.
"Furthermore, the current global economic crisis carries the threat of the cancellation or drastic reduction of programs for international aid, especially for Africa and for the other economically less developed countries. Therefore with the same force as that with which John Paul II asked for the cancellation of the foreign debt I too would like to appeal to the member countries of the G8, to the other States represented and to the Governments of the whole world to maintain and reinforce aid for development, especially aid destined to 'make the most' of 'human resources,' not only in spite of the crisis, but precisely because it is one of the principal paths to its solution. Is it not in fact through investment in the human being in all the men and women of the earth that it will be possible to succeed in effectively dispelling the disturbing prospectives of global recession? Is not this truly the way to obtain, to the extent possible, a trend in the world economy that benefits the inhabitants of every country, rich and poor, large and small?
"The issue of access to education is intimately connected to the efficacy of international cooperation. Thus if it is true that 'investing' in men and women is necessary, then the goal of basic education for all, without exception, by 2015 must not only be met but must also be generously reinforced. Education is an indispensable condition for democracy to function, for fighting corruption, for exercising political, economic, and social rights and for the effective recovery of all States, poor and rich alike. And, by correctly applying the principle of subsidiarity, the support of development cannot but take into account the far-reaching educational action that the Catholic Church and other religious Denominations carry out in the world's poorest and most neglected regions.
"I am therefore keen to remind the distinguished participants of the G8 that the measure of technical efficacy of the provisions to adopt in order to emerge from the crisis coincides with the measure of its ethical value. In other words, it is necessary to bear in mind practical human and family needs. I refer, for example, to the effective creation of positions for all, that enable workers to provide fittingly for their family's needs and to fulfill their primary responsibility as educators of their children and protagonists in the community to which they belong. 'A society in which this right is systematically denied,' John Paul II wrote, 'in which economic policies do not allow workers to reach satisfactory levels of employment, cannot be justified from an ethical point of view, nor can that society attain social peace' (Centesimus Annus, n. 43; cf., Laborem Excercens, n. 18). And for this very purpose the urgent need for a fair system of international trade is essential, putting into practice and if necessary even going beyond the decisions made in Doha in 2001 to promote development. I hope that all creative energy will be devoted to achieving the UN Millennium Goals concerning the elimination of extreme poverty by 2015. It is only right to reform the international financial structure to ensure effective coordination of national policies, to prevent credit speculation, and to guarantee a broad international availability of public and private credit at the service of production and work, especially in the neediest countries and regions.
"The ethical legitimization of the political commitments of the G8 will naturally demand that they be confronted with the thought and needs of the entire International Community. To this end, it seems important to reinforce multi-lateralism, not only for economic matters but also for the entire spectrum of the issues concerning peace, global security, disarmament, health, and protection of the environment and of natural resources for the present and future generations. The extension of the G8 to other regions certainly constitutes important and significant progress; yet at the time of the negotiations and concrete and operational decisions, it is necessary to take into careful consideration all needs, not only those of the countries that are most important or that have a more marked financial success. In fact, only this can make these decisions actually applicable and sustainable over time. Let the voices of Africa and of the less economically developed countries be heard! Let effective models be sought in order to link the decisions of the various groups of countries, including the G8, with the Assembly of the United Nations. In this way each nation, whatever its political and financial importance, may legitimately express itself in a position of equality with the others . . ."
Fred H. Summe, vice president of Northern Kentucky Right to Life
" 'I keep praying that somebody does something because I'm frightened that people will come and kill all of us,' whispered Ann, a girl in a wheelchair. I almost broke out in tears because she was absolutely frightened. So I told her, 'Don't worry, we're going to do something to protect you.' And I mean that," related Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schiavo.
Why would this girl worry so? Because it's here. For years pro-lifers have warned that abortion would eventually lead to euthanasia, the intentional killing of the disabled.
The story of Terri Schiavo brought to the attention of the nation what has been becoming more and more acceptable across the nation, i.e., the withdrawal of food and hydration, resulting in their death.
Our nation has seen our laws change from considering euthanasia and the so-called "physician-assisted suicide" as criminal offenses to becoming a constitutionally protected "right to die." This phase of the culture of death is not only promoted by many case decisions of various state Supreme Courts, but unfortunately has also found much support in Catholic medical facilities.
Even before the Terri Schiavo case, the Kentucky Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision in the case of Commonwealth v. Woods, held that a guardian could order the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration from a disabled man who was unable to care for himself. Sadly, within a week after the decision, the Kentucky Catholic Conference of Bishops, through their spokesman, issued a public statement praising and supporting this pro-euthanasia decision.
Catholic hospitals, like all hospitals, greet a patient for admission with the question, "Do you have a living will?" and present the type of living will which would allow one to authorize the withdrawal of food and hydration. Ann rightly needs to be frightened, along with all of us, those especially to whom God has given the cross of a disability.
Northern Kentucky Right to Life is indeed proud to invite Bobby Schindler to address the 36th Annual Celebration of Life scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009, at London Hall, Drawbridge Estates in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky (I-75, Exit 186).
The doors will open at 1:15 p.m., followed by the showing of a pro-life film at 1:30 p.m. Refreshments and exhibits will be available at 2:00 p.m. with the program commencing at 2:30 p.m. (Free babysitting is provided.)
Tickets ($10.00) and additional information can be obtained from Stan Barczak, Northern Kentucky Right to Life, P.O. Box 1202, Covington, KY 41012. (859-431-6380). (Tickets can be obtained in advance or at the door.)
Bobby Schindler is the executive director of the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation (www.terrisfight.org), which works to protect the lives of the medically vulnerable and disabled from the threat of euthanasia.
Bobby's life took a dramatic and unexpected turn in February of 1990, when his older sister, Terri, suddenly collapsed and was left with a profound brain injury. When Terri's estranged husband sought court permission to starve and dehydrate her to death, Bobby spoke in defense of his sister's life on numerous national television and radio programs.
Giving up his teaching job at a Catholic high school, Bobby joined his parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, and his younger sister Suzanne, to become full-time pro-life disability rights advocates. He has spoken extensively throughout the U.S. telling the truth about Terri's story and challenging the public to educate themselves regarding the dangers of euthanasia. He and his family authored the book A Life That Matters: The Legacy of Terri Schiavo.
In 1990, at the age of 26, Terri suffered a neurological injury. For several years, Terri received rehabilitative therapy and care, was able to move her arms and legs, and even responded to others with simple words like "no," "yes," and "stop that." But in 1993, less than a year after the husband received $750,000 in an insurance payment that could be applied to her medical treatment, he removed his wife from therapy and initiated a long series of steps towards euthanizing her. He used the money to offset the legal costs that he had incurred involving the challenges to his efforts to move her and to have her life ended.
Terri was not terminally ill, nor was she "brain dead" nor in a "vegetative state." She was disabled. In 2003, her parents released the following statement:
"We love our daughter very much and we want her home. Over the last 13 years, Terri has laughed with us, cried with us, and even tried to get out of her chair. The accusations that Terri is in a coma or is a 'vegetable' are a lie. We beg Michael Schiavo, and those working with him to end our daughter's life, to let her come home to her family. We will sign any agreement you want, giving you all monies related to Terri's collapse and any insurance money that may be forthcoming. You take the money. We just want our daughter."
After a number of years, Michael Schiavo was successful in obtaining a court order granting him the "right" to withdraw all nutrition and hydration from Terri. After 13 days, Terri, on March 31, 2005, at the age of 41, died of dehydration.
Although the news media wanted all to believe that such a death was a peaceful one, medical evidence discloses the opposite. The following is a finding of the Massachusetts Supreme Court in the case of Paul Brophy v. New England Sinai Hospital (1986):
". . . Various effects from lack of hydration and nutrition lead ultimately to death – mouth would dry out and become caked or coated with thick material . . . lips would become parched and cracked . . . tongue would swell and might crack . . . eyes would recede back into their orbits and cheeks would become hollow . . . lining of the nose might crack and cause the nose to bleed . . . skin would hang loose on his body and become dry and scaly . . . urine would become highly concentrated, leading to burning of the bladder . . . lining of his stomach would dry out and he would experience dry heaves and vomiting . . . at some point within five days to three weeks, his major organs, including lungs, heart, and brain would give out and he would die . . . extremely painful and uncomfortable . . . cruel and violent."
Fr. Frank Pavone, Director of Priests for Life, who was present for most of the two-week period of Terri's death, discloses: "Terri's death was not at all peaceful and beautiful. It was quite horrifying. She is dehydrating to death and looked it. Her face had an expression of dread and sorrow."
Crisscrossing the country giving speeches, appearing on national TV and radio, Bobby Schindler is warning the nation that euthanasia is becoming more and more of an accepted "medical" practice.
During his campaign, President Barack Obama claimed his biggest "regret" as a U.S. senator was joining with President Bush in enacting legislation to save Terri's life. It is amazing that this would be Obama's biggest "regret." To this, Bobby Schindler responded: "This is especially scary because a growing number of healthcare experts are already warning us that Obama's new healthcare plan could potentially open wide the door to euthanasia in our nation."
About a year before his own death, Pope John Paul II reiterated the teaching of the Catholic Church:
"I should like particularly to underline how the administration of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act. Its use, furthermore, should be considered, in principle, ordinary and proportionate, and as such morally obligatory . . . Death by starvation or dehydration is, in fact, the only possible outcome as a result of their withdrawal. In this sense it ends up becoming, if done knowingly and willingly, true and proper euthanasia by omission."
For Terri Schiavo, for Ann (the girl in the wheelchair), and for all those who travel through life with a disability, we must remember:
It is never permitted, it is always prohibited, to take any action that is aimed at the death of ourselves or others . . . we must learn again the wisdom that teaches us always to care, never to kill." A Declaration on Euthanasia, issued by Thirteen Jewish and Christian Scholars
Considering the priority of the abortion issue and the euthanasia issue, please make the personal commitment to hear this pro-life advocate and encourage your family and friends to join you. Take this opportunity to also come and meet the more than 20 exhibitors, who can show you how you can also participate in the pro-life movement, giving witness in a variety of ways, to the sanctity of all human life.
Photo Credit: Caritas
The international Catholic relief agency Caritas stresses that "poverty and suffering in Sudan's Darfur region and in south Sudan are at such high levels there is a permanent humanitarian crisis there."
Caritas reported that "Catholic Church leaders from Sudan, Caritas members providing support to the vulnerable on the ground, and donors met June 22-23 at Caritas Internationalis Headquarters in the Vatican to discuss how to improve a coordinated humanitarian response.
A Caritas press release said: "Insecurity both in Darfur and increasingly so in south Sudan risks further destabilizing the region and creating greater levels of suffering, the aid agency warns . . .
"Bishop Eduardo Kussala of Tombura Yambio said, 'Sudan faces a lot of challenges. There is an ongoing humanitarian crisis. People don't have access to healthcare, education, water, and protection from high levels of violence.
" 'Caritas and the Church are the only sources of education, health, and social services in many places. The Sudan Partnership Forum meeting aims to create a common strategy for Caritas members and its Church partners so that we deliver aid in the most effective way.'
"Malnutrition is at 16 percent in south Sudan. Nine out of 10 people in south Sudan live on less than $1 a day. In 2007, south Sudan had the highest maternal mortality rate in the world - with 2,030 women dying per 100,000 births.
"A shaky peace holds in the south and half of the 4 million refugees who fled decades of fighting have returned to their homes. However, the number of killings is now believed to have overtaken Darfur.
"In Darfur in the west of Sudan, 300,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million uprooted in the ongoing conflict. The humanitarian situation in Darfur is also worsening with 290,000 people fleeing their homes during the first nine months of 2008.
"Caritas in Sudan works in emergency aid, social welfare, and development. Caritas continues to operate in Darfur, providing 297,000 people with food, shelter, clean water, healthcare, support for livelihoods, counseling, peace-building activities, and education."
Photo Credit: Caritas
The international Catholic relief agency Caritas used the World Refugee Day June 20 to draw attention to the problems women and children face in war.
The following press release discusses the issue:
"Caritas Internationalis says there is a collective failure by governments to protect women and girls in conflict situations from rape and other forms of violence and exploitation.
"Women and children represent almost half of the internally displaced and refugee populations worldwide . . .
"In Colombia's civil war, women and girls face sexual abuse, forced recruitment, and exploitation as cheap laborers. 17.7 percent of women in Colombia who'd fled their homes reported the cause as sexual violence.
"In Sri Lanka, women and girls who have fled the conflict to go to camps say violence is their chief source of fear. Overcrowding in camps leads to lack of privacy for women and adolescent girls. This creates an environment for abuse.
"In the Democratic Republic of Congo's troubled eastern region, 463 rape cases in South Kivu have been reported in the past three months - more than half the number reported in the whole of 2008.
"Caritas members from 11 countries will be attending a UN consultation on refugees next week organized by UNHCR on June 29 in Geneva to call for action on protecting women and children refugees .
"Caritas Internationalis Head of Migration and Trafficking Martina Liebsch said, 'Humiliating women through violence and abuse is a common feature in armed conflicts around the world today. Women are often the last to leave as they stay to look after their families. This makes them vulnerable and subject to violence.
God is like a mother who carries her child in her arms by the edge of a precipice. While she is seeking all the time to keep him from danger, he is doing his best to get into it.
— St. John Vianney
" 'The effects of this violence are devastating. Apart from the physical and psychological damage that rape brings to the individual, there is also a grave risk of unwanted pregnancy and HIV infection. It affects families, communities, and villages. Some will never totally recover from this attack to their dignity.
" 'Caritas says that although the international humanitarian laws are in place that guarantee the protection of civilians, women, and children, they are not being upheld.
"Governments and UN agencies must address this failure by improving protection, medical treatment, counselling, and means for rehabilitation and compensation. Women should be encouraged to report on the abuses they suffered to start their healing. To do justice to their suffering their perpetrators should be brought to justice."
"Caritas works in conflicts around the world, providing help to refugee and displaced women such as food, shelter, hygiene items for pregnancy after a rape, but also trauma counseling, training as community leaders, livelihood trainings, and micro-credits."
vatican city — Pope Benedict XVI met with President Barack Obama of the United States on July 10. President Obama was in Italy for the G8 Summit. This was the 27th time that a sitting U.S. President has met with a Pope beginning with President Woodrow Wilson and Pope Benedict XV in 1919.
A Vatican press release said: "In the course of their cordial exchanges the conversation turned first of all to questions which are in the interests of all and which constitute a great challenge for the future of every nation and for the true progress of peoples, such as the defense and promotion of life and the right to abide by one's conscience.
"Reference was also made to immigration with particular attention to the matter of reuniting families.
"The meeting focused as well upon matters of international politics, especially in light of the outcome of the G8 Summit. The conversation also dealt with the peace process in the Middle East, on which there was general agreement, and with other regional situations. Certain current issues were then considered, such as dialogue between cultures and religions, the global economic crisis and its ethical implications, food security, development aid especially for Africa and Latin America, and the problem of drug trafficking. Finally, the importance of educating young people everywhere in the value of tolerance was highlighted."
L'Osservatore Romano English edition reported: "The cordial meeting lasted slightly more than an hour, during which the Director of the Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, spoke with the journalists present, disclosing that the President assured the Pontiff of his commitment to reducing the number of abortions in the United States. It is a topic that rightly concerns the entire episcopate, the country's Catholics, and the Holy See. Fr. Lombardi also communicated Benedict XVI's satisfaction with the visit.
During the meeting, Obama gave the Pope a liturgical stole that for 18 years covered the remains of St. John Neumann, America's first Bishop to become a saint, at his Shrine in Philadelphia. Aside from the Holy Father's gifts to his guest a mosaic showing St. Peter's Square and Basilica, an autographed copy of Caritas in Veritate, as well as pontifical medals and rosaries, he also gave the President the text of the Instruction on bioethics issued last year by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Dignitas Personae. Mons. Gänswein, the Pope's Private Secretary, explained to the journalists that the document could help the President to understand the Catholic Church's position better."
(Source: L'Osservatore Romano English edition, www.usccb.org)
vatican city — In his Angelus message on July 12, Pope Benedict XVI discussed the G8 Summit and the role of the Church in addressing economic and other issues. He stated: "In the past few days everyone's attention has focused on the G8 Summit which was held in L'Aquila, a city harshly tried by the earthquake. Some of the items on the agenda were dramatically urgent. There are inequalities in the world that can no longer be tolerated which demand a coordinated strategy, in addition to necessary immediate interventions, in the search for lasting global solutions. During the Summit the Heads of State and Government of the G8 reaffirmed the need to reach common agreements in order to secure a better future for humanity. The Church has no technical solutions to propose but, as an expert in humanity, offers to all the teaching of Sacred Scripture on the truth about mankind, and proclaims the Gospel of Love and Justice. Last Wednesday, commenting at the General Audience on the Encyclical Caritatis in Veritate, published precisely on the eve of the G8, I said: 'What is needed, then, is new financial planning in order to redesign development globally, based on the ethical foundation of responsibility before God and to the human being as God's creature.' This is because, as I wrote in the Encyclical, 'In an increasingly globalized society, the common good and the effort to obtain it cannot fail to assume the dimensions of the whole human family' (n. 7).
"In his Encyclical Populorum Progressio, the great Pontiff Paul VI had already recognized and drawn attention to the global dimension of the social problem. Following his lead, I also felt the need to dedicate Caritas in Veritate to this question that in our day has become 'a radically anthropological question,' in the sense that it concerns the actual way in which the human being is conceived as bio-technology places it increasingly under man's control (cf. n. 75). The solutions to the problems of humanity today cannot only be technical, but must take into account all the requirements of the person, who is endowed with a body and a soul, and thus must take into account the Creator, God. 'The supremacy of technology,' which culminates in certain practices contrary to life, could in fact produce bleak scenarios for the future of humanity. Acts that do not respect the true dignity of the person, even when they seem to be motivated by a 'design of love,' are in fact the result of a 'materialistic and mechanistic understanding of human life' that reduces love without truth to 'an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way' (cf. n. 3) and can thus entail negative effects for integral human development.
"However complex the current situation of the world is, the Church looks to the future with hope and reminds Christians that the proclamation of Christ is 'the first and principal factor of development.' On this very day, in the Opening Prayer of Mass, the Liturgy invites us to pray: Grant us, O Father, that we may hold nothing dearer than Your Son, Who reveals to the world the mystery of Your love and the true dignity of man. May the Virgin Mary obtain for us that we walk on the path of development with all our hearts and our intelligence, 'that is to say with the ardor of charity and the wisdom of truth' (cf. n. 8)."
(Source: L'Osservatore Romano English edition)
“O Father, raise up among Christians numerous and holy vocations to the
priesthood, to keep the faith alive and guard the gracious memory of Your Son Jesus through the
preaching of His word and the administration of the Sacraments, with which You continually renew Your faithful.”
— Pope Benedict XVI
I praise You, I love You, I adore You.
Send Your Holy Spirit to enlighten my mind to the truth of Your Son, Jesus, Priest and Victim.
Through the same Spirit guide my heart to His Sacred Heart, to renew in me a priestly passion that I, too, might lay down my life upon the altar.
May Your Spirit wash away my impurities and free me from all my transgressions in the Cup of Salvation,
Let only Your will be done in me.
May the Blessed Mother of Your dearly beloved Son, wrap her mantle around me and protect me from all evil.
May she guide me to do whatever He tells me.
May she teach me to have the heart of St. Joseph, her spouse, to protect and care for my bride.
And may her pierced heart inspire me to embrace as my own Your children who suffer at the foot of the cross.
I humbly cry to her: please be my consoling mother, and help me to be a better son.
Lord, make me a holy priest, inflamed with the fire of Your love, seeking nothing but Your greater glory and the salvation of souls.
I humbly bless and thank You, my Father, through the Spirit, in Christ Jesus, Your Son and my brother.
O Mary, Queen of priests, pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, pray for us.
Because we are sons and daughters of God, saved by Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we do not merely read the news but make the news. We direct the course of world events by faith expressed in action and intercession. Please pray for the stories covered in this paper. Clip out this intercessory list and make it part of your daily prayer.
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com