Vatican City, 10 December 2013 (VIS) – The Holy Father has recorded a video message for the world campaign against worldwide hunger, launched today by Caritas Internationalis with the theme “One human family, food for all”.
Caritas’ campaign began with a “wave of prayer”. Starting on the Pacific Island of Samoa, at midday local time, Caritas organisations at midday in each country take part in a prayer service to pray and reflect on the issue of hunger. A press conference was held at 10.30 this morning in the Basilica of St. Cecilia in Rome, with the participation of, among others, the general secretary of Caritas Internationalis Michael Roy, the director of Caritas Senegal Abbe Ambroise Tine, the director of the diocesan branch of Caritas in Rome, Msgr. Enrico Feroci, and Ferruccio Ferrante, of Caritas Italiana. The conference included the screening of Pope Francis' video message, the full text of which we publish below:
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today, I am happy to announce to you the launch of a campaign against global hunger by our very own Caritas Internationalis and to tell you that I intend to give my full support. This confederation, together with its 164 member organisations works in 200 countries and territories around the world and its work is at the heart of the mission of the Church and of Her attention towards all those who suffer because of the scandal of hunger, those with whom the Lord identified when he said, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat”.
When the Apostles said to Jesus that the people who had come to listen to his words were hungry, He invited them to go and look for food. Being poor themselves, all they found were five loaves and two fish. But with the grace of God, they managed to feed a multitude of people, even managing to collect what was left over and avoiding that it went to waste.
We are in front of a global scandal of around one billion – one billion people who still suffer from hunger today. We cannot look the other way and pretend this does not exist. The food available in the world is enough to feed everyone. The parable of the multiplication of the loaves and fish teaches us exactly this: that if there is the will, what we have never ends. On the contrary, it abounds and does not get wasted.
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, I invite you to make space in your heart for this emergency of respecting the God-given rights of everyone to have access to adequate food. We share what we have in Christian charity with those who face numerous obstacles to satisfy such a basic need. At the same time we promote an authentic cooperation with the poor so that through the fruits of their and our work they can live a dignified life.
I invite all of the institutions of the world, the Church, each of us, as one single human family, to give a voice to all of those who suffer silently from hunger, so that this voice becomes a roar which can shake the world.
This campaign is also an invitation to all of us to become more conscious in our food choices, which often lead to waste and a poor use of the resources available to us. It is also a reminder to stop thinking that our daily actions do not have an impact on the lives of those who suffer from hunger first-hand.
I ask you from the bottom of my heart to support our Caritas organisations in this noble campaign where they will act as one human family to ensure food for all.
Let us pray that the Lord gives us the grace to envisage a world in which no one must ever again die of hunger. And asking for this grace, I give you my blessing”.