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Thursday, November 22, 2007


VATICAN CITY, NOV 22, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today, the Pope received participants in the 34th general conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which has its headquarters in Rome.

  In his English-language talk to the delegates, the Pope indicated that "all forms of discrimination, and particularly those that thwart agricultural development, must be rejected since they constitute a violation of the basic right of every person to be 'free from hunger.' These convictions are in fact demanded by the very nature of your work on behalf of the common good of humanity."

  Benedict XVI highlighted the paradox of "the relentless spread of poverty in a world that is also experiencing unprecedented prosperity, not only in the economic sphere but also in the rapidly developing fields of science and technology."

  Such obstacles as "armed conflicts, outbreaks of disease, adverse atmospheric and environmental conditions and the massive forced displacement of peoples," said the Pope, "should serve as a motivation to redouble our efforts to provide each person with his or her daily bread.

  "For her part, the Church is convinced that the quest for more effective technical solutions in an ever-changing and expanding world calls for far-sighted programs embodying enduring values grounded in the inalienable dignity and rights of the human person," he added.

  "The united effort of the international community to eliminate malnutrition and promote genuine development necessarily calls for clear structures of management and supervision, and a realistic assessment of the resources needed to address a wide range of different situations. It requires the contribution of every member of society - individuals, volunteer organizations, businesses, and local and national governments - always with due regard for those ethical and moral principles which are the common patrimony of all people and the foundation of all social life."

  Benedict XVI continued his talk by saying that "today more than ever, the human family needs to find the tools and strategies capable of overcoming the conflicts caused by social differences, ethnic rivalries, and the gross disparity in levels of economic development."

  "Religion, as a potent spiritual force for healing the wounds of conflict and division, has its own distinctive contribution to make in this regard, especially through the work of forming minds and hearts in accordance with a vision of the human person."

  "Technical progress, important as it is, is not everything," the Pope told the FAO delegates. "Progress must be placed within the wider context of the integral good of the human person. It must constantly draw nourishment from the common patrimony of values which can inspire concrete initiatives aimed at a more equitable distribution of spiritual and material goods."

  "This principle," he explained, "has a special application to the world of agriculture, in which the work of those who are often considered the 'lowliest' members of society should be duly acknowledged and esteemed."

  In conclusion the Holy Father recalled how "FAO's outstanding activity on behalf of development and food security clearly points to the correlation between the spread of poverty and the denial of basic human rights, beginning with the fundamental right to adequate nutrition. Peace, prosperity, and respect for human rights are inseparably linked. The time has come to ensure, for the sake of peace, that no man, woman and child will ever be hungry again!"
AC/HUNGER/FAO                            VIS 20071122 (570)


VATICAN CITY, NOV 22, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today, the Holy See Press Office released the following communique:

  "The ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of 23 new cardinals will be preceded - tomorrow, November 23 - by a meeting of prayer and reflection of the College of Cardinals, to take place in the Vatican's New Synod Hall. After praying the Middle Hour (Terce), at 9.30 a.m. the Holy Father will greet the cardinals present. Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity will then deliver a report on the theme: 'Information, reflections and evaluation concerning the current moment in ecumenical dialogue.' This will be followed by contributions from the cardinals, lasting until 12.30 p.m.

  "The meeting will resume at 5 p.m. with the celebration of Vespers. Then, following an introduction by the Holy Father, a free exchange of ideas will take place between the cardinals on the life of the Church in general. The day of prayer and reflection will conclude at 7 p.m. with an address by the Supreme Pontiff."
OP/CARDINAL MEETING:ECUMENISM/...            VIS 20071122 (190)


VATICAN CITY, NOV 22, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Three prelates from the Kenya Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Peter Kihara Kariuki I.M.C. of Marsabit.

    - Bishop Salesius Mugambi of Meru.

    - Bishop Luigi Paiaro of Nyabururu.

 - Archbishop Paolo Pezzi F.S.C.B. of the archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, Russia, accompanied by members of his family.
AL:AP/.../...                                VIS 20071122 (80)

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