VATICAN - POPE SENDS MESSAGE TO 17TH ASSEMBLY OF CARITAS INTERNATIONALIS: “HELP OFFERED TO NEIGHBOUR MUST NOT BE ALMSGIVING FROM RICH TO POOR, BUT RATHER SHARING IN BROTHERHOOD, RECOGNITION OF EQUALITY AMONG ALL PEOPLE
Vatican City (Fides Service) – Globalisation solidarity is the theme of the 17th general assembly (held every four years) of Caritas Internationalis being held presently in Rome 7-12 July. For the occasion Pope John Paul II addressed a message in French to the President of Caritas Internationalis Maronite Archbishop Youhanna-Fouad El-Hage of Tripoli, expressing his gratitude to the organisation “for putting into practice actively and competently the precept of charity and for its generous work all over the world at the service of the most disadvantaged”.
Mentioning the theme chosen for the general assembly the Pope recalls that its draws its inspiration from the apostolic letter Novo Millennio ineunte which stressed that “now is the time for a new "creativity" in charity, not only by ensuring that help is effective but also by "getting close" to those who suffer, so that the hand that helps is seen not as a humiliating handout but as a sharing between brothers and sisters.” (NMI 50) The Pope says that the world today is marked by “ever stronger bonds of interdependence among systems, nations and persons, but it is also threatened by divisions, closure and violence opposition” Today it is no longer possible to restrict ourselves to one particular aspect of the problem overlooking what is being lived by others: globalisation has become a compulsory horizon for all political activity” and this is true also for the economy, assistance and international aid.
“For solidarity to become global - the Message continues – it make take into account all the peoples of the different regions of the world…globalising solidarity means also working in close and constant contact with international bodies…to balance in a new way relations between rich countries and poor countries to put an end to one way relations of assistance which too often help to render still more graver the unbalance through an unduly permanent mechanism”.
The Pope says again the globalisation of solidarity is “an answer to the pressing appeals of the Gospel of Christ” and it demands an authentic path of conversion of mindsets and individuals. “So that help offered to neighbour is not almsgiving from rich to poor, humiliating for the latter and perhaps a source of pride for the former, so that it may become fraternal sharing that is to say recognition of the true equality of all people, we must start out again from Christ, root our life in love of Christ who has made us his brothers and sisters”. SL (Fides Service 8/7/2003 EM lines 29 Words: 409)
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