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Monday, September 27, 2004


VATICAN CITY, SEP 26, 2004 (VIS) - In remarks made today before praying the Angelus, the Pope decried the imbalance between the rich and poor of the world, and pointed to the Gospel of "the rich man who lived in opulence and did not care for the beggar lying outside his door and starving. But after death, the situation was reversed. Lazarus was welcomed into paradise whereas the rich men lived in torment."

  Addressing the faithful gathered in the courtyard of the apostolic palace at Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father said that "the lesson learned from this parable is clear: every person must make use of their own goods in an unselfish way, showing solidarity." He said this Gospel was appropriate because "in recent days there was an important meeting in New York of heads of State and government for a more efficacious and united action against hunger and poverty. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, spoke at the meeting, expressing the Holy See's adherence to this initiative."

  "The Catholic Church," the Pope stated, "assures everyone of its commitment to uproot from the world the scourge of hunger and the other consequences of this miserable state. In this context, I am pleased to remind you of the meeting in recent days in the Vatican of the apostolic nuncios in Africa."

  "Let us pray that the Lord sustains such efforts of the international community for justice and solidarity in development. This is, in fact, the path that will guarantee the world a future of peace."

  After praying the Angelus, John Paul II greeted the pilgrims present in five languages, reminding everyone that tomorrow the Church celebrates the liturgical memory of St. Vincent de Paul. He also noted the celebration on September 30 of World Maritime Day, organized by the United Nations, saying his "thoughts go to all who work at sea and I pray they may be able to live with dignity and security."
ANG/HUNGER:POVERTY/...                    VIS 20040927 (330)

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