Our Lady of Fatima's Antidote to the Crisis

Caritas President Reflects on Attitudes the Virgin Teaches

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FATIMA, Portugal, MAY 13, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Virgin Mary keeps alive attitudes that combat the economic crisis and the lack of values in the world, says the cardinal who directs Caritas Internationalis.



Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga spoke today about the ongoing importance of the Fatima message, as the Church marks 92 years since the first of Our Lady's apparitions there.

At a Mass he celebrated with some 20 bishops and 360 priests, as well as thousands of faithful, the cardinal said, "Our world finds itself immersed in deep crises of faith, ethics and humanity, and it seems to have lost its moral orientation. The financial crisis that we are living is just one sign of that."

According to the Portuguese news agency Ecclesia, the cardinal remarked that the "invisible hand that supposedly had to guide the market has become a dishonest hand, full of greed."

"We no longer know where the limit is between good and evil," he added.

But in this situation, the cardinal affirmed, "Mary helps to keep alive the attitudes of attention, service, gift and gratuitousness."

"With the example and the help of the Virgin, Christian communities continue the mission of bringing [people] to an encounter with Christ, and because of this, we invoke her again as the Star of the new evangelization," Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga said.

Some 200,000 people gathered in the chill Monday evening at the sanctuary of Fatima, for a candlelight procession and a Mass also celebrated by the cardinal. It was followed by a prayer vigil that lasted until 7 a.m. today.

Love "is the best medicine against egotism and self-sufficiency," the cardinal said in that homily.

Monday during a press conference he affirmed that "solidarity is a value that is especially necessary in these times."

Only when we "go out of ourselves and look around at the others can we think of solutions for the crisis," he contended, adding that bailouts are not the answer.

"We are aware that only with dialogue is it possible to avoid reducing globalization to its economic aspect," the Honduran prelate continued. "A globalization that excludes is an evil for society."