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So, the Pope speaks to the entire world, every so often

This past week he spoke on hunger and food shortages. Here's a bit of what he said. "My thoughts turn toward the situation of millions of children, who are the first victims of this tragedy, condemned to an early death or to a delay in their physical or psychic development, or forced into forms of exploitation just to receive minimal nutrition," he said. The pope said the cause of such hunger cannot be found only in technical developments such as production cycles or commodity prices.

"Poverty, underdevelopment and, therefore, hunger are often the result of selfish behaviors that, born in the human heart, manifest themselves in social life, economic exchange, in market conditions and in the lack of access to food," the pope said. "How can we be silent about the fact that even food has become the object of speculation or is tied to the course of a financial market that, lacking definite rules and poor in moral principles, appears anchored to the sole objective of profit?" he said. The pope said the United Nations' own studies show that global food production is able to feed the world's population -- which makes the situations of hunger all the more unjust. The international community often limits its food assistance to emergency situations, he said. Instead, he told the experts, it needs to address the problem with long-term strategies that consider the human dimension of development and not just economic benefits.

Do you think that there are things that we can do locally that will trickle up to a global level? Since he spoke of there needing to be an emphasis on family farms, which will help alleviate some of the more frantic and frenetic actions of people desperate for food. Desperate things like selling off their farms to greedy agribusiness who will only exploit the region.


Asked by adnilm at 1:41 AM on Jul. 6, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (76)
  • No, a response to the fact that I didn't change what I was asking - I had been talking about the commodities market all along. You were wrong about that. Not to mention, when you did finally "answer" my question about the commodities markets, you did with a source you thought I wouldn't look up. When I did, Surprise!, it didn't actually contain any information that would answer my question.

    Just my opinion, but from my perspective, you are prejudiced against the Catholic Church and any thing that the Pope says has to be wrong, whether or not you've got proof. When pressed for proof, you pulled something out of your ass because you didn't think anyone would call your bluff. Rather than admit this, you just became condescending and "confused".

    And if everyone makes money while hungry people are fed, what's the down side of disbanding the commodities market?

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 10:16 AM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • Wow beeky - actually Catholic Relief Services delivers a HUGE amount of humanitarian aid to combat hunger and illness, not to mention what individual parishes do - like my own who sponsored three wells to be dug in Africa, works with farming organizations, supports a ministry in Jamaica and sends college kids to build homes in Appalachia every summer, among other charitable works. The Pope does personally donate, as does the organization as a whole.


    Answer by Dr.Donna at 7:47 AM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • This whole discussion just goes to show how much bias there is against the Catholic Church. The Pope is asking us to take care of hungry people and he's getting back-lash over it. It's clear this man can saying nothing without engendering hatred. Catholics don't think he's perfect, so I'm not sure where non-Catholics get the expectation that he should be.

    And if people were really, honestly taking the recommendations of the Church to heart, birth control wouldn't be an issue, nor would the spread of disease because people would only be having sex with their spouse. Blaming the Church for not supporting the use of condoms in situations where the Church says sex shouldn't be happening at all is ridiculous. Why listen to the Church about condoms but ignore the other aspects of responsible sexual conduct?!?


    Answer by Dr.Donna at 12:00 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • and when they sell those off, there will be something else they should be doing....naturally.

    The Church already does a HUGE amount in terms of charitable work. It takes a special perspective to look at charitable work and merely complain that it isn't enough, rather than recognize the good that it is.

    The Pope hasn't asked anyone to go into poverty to feed people. He has pointed out - rightly - that there is sufficient food production to feed the people we have on the planet. So, clearly it's a distribution problem. The Church cannot fix that by itself and the Pope asking for the world to focus on the issue... well, I just can't see the evil in that. But, again, it's the Pope - to some, he'll never be able to say anything right. They'd figure out how the sky really wasn't blue if he'd included in one of his speeches.

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 1:14 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • anng.atlanta - so, the Church is doing a good job in regard to helping with clean water, vaccines, and hunger, but they aren't doing enough in terms of AIDS? Is that it? Again - the Church is doing a lot, but they aren't doing everything you'd like to see, so clearly they are evil.

    Why is it the Church's responsibility to stop AIDS in Africa? Why do you think the men spreading the disease are not using condoms because of the Church? You could have free baskets of condoms outside every hut in Africa and you wouldn't stop the spread of the disease. It's a cultural thing - sex with a condom isn't sex to them. They aren't bowing to the dictates of the Church in terms of condom use - if they had that much respect for the Church, they wouldn't be raping girls or having sex with anyone other than their wives - and then they wouldn't be infected. Again, what do you expect the Church to do?

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 3:10 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • Religion is holding back under developed countries!

    Really, and all this time I thought it was a lack of natural resources and corrupt govts- silly me!

    As for the question- yes, I agree- looking at long term sustainability is the key-

    Answer by soyousay at 10:12 AM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • IhartU - the Pope doesn't personally own any of that stuff.

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 10:27 AM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • What's that proverb? Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for a lifetime?

    I definitely think the way to fight global hunger and poverty is to teach families how to keep their own gardens. Giving food and donating money aren't really investments in someone's future. They're just eating it and not turning it into something than can keep giving to them. It doesn't teach self-reliance but dependence on the entity doing the "donating."

    I think that self-sufficiency in general is a good thing. If people aren't self-sufficient (even to a degree, they don't have to be totally independent), then they will never be able to get out of the hole they are in.

    (And Beeky, religion isn't what's holding back under developed countries. Religion hasn't held back first world countries, so how can make that assertion about third world countries? How very shallow of you.)

    Answer by -Eilish- at 10:36 AM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • You'll have to share with me what the blatant ulterior motive for this is - other than feeding hungry people, I'm having a hard time seeing anything else. The Pope didn't ask people who are underemployed to help (they are actually listed in the people who NEED assistance), he's asking for food to stop being traded as a commodity so that it's not tied up in markets, but just able to be sold at fair market prices so that people can eat, for example. What's the ulterior motive?

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 2:43 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • IhartU, I wish you and others would refrain from generalizing about the Catholic faith. The faith itself is not based on opulence. Faith is not made of men, faith is what we believe in our hearts. Nowhere in the catechism does it actually state one should accumulate worldly goods. That is all done by past and present men who have led the Church. Is it hypocritical to teach one thing and do another? Yes, I think it is and I see where people think they can criticize the religion based on its leaders, but you cannot accurately say that the church teaches that such behavior is acceptable.

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 6:25 PM on Jul. 6, 2011