Pope: Don't Let Extent of Poverty Discourage Efforts

Praises ATD 4th World; Remembers Plight of Haiti

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By Anita S. Bourdin

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 21, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is encouraging the members of an anti-poverty organization to resist discouragement before the magnitude of the needs, and to continue their efforts with generosity.

The Pope made this invitation in a message sent by his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to an official of the ATD Fourth World delegation.

The message came on the occasion of the Oct. 17 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, declared by the United Nations in 1992. The observance gives international weight to the date of Oct. 17, which is the day in 1987 when Father Joseph Wresinski, founder of ATD Fourth World, unveiled in the Trocadero Human Rights Plaza in Paris a commemorative stone in honor of the victims of extreme poverty.

The papal message assures that the Pope supports the international celebration and encouraged "all persons committed in the world in the struggle against the multiple forms of poverty."
 
Benedict XVI invited them "not to be discouraged given the magnitude of the needs and to continue with generosity their service to the poorest and weakest persons and families of society."
 
This year, the Holy Father mentioned specifically "the families, young people and children of Haiti."
 
"May all the victims of poverty and those by their side in the quest for a more just and fraternal world be assured of finding in the love of God a strength able to transform the world and men's hearts!" he added.

Canonization cause

Meanwhile, the beatification cause for Father Wresinski (1917-1988) continues to progress.
 
Father Marc Leclerc, the postulator, explained to ZENIT that the 1997-2003 diocesan investigation resulted in a 20,000-page dossier entrusted to the Vatican Congregation for Saints' Causes.

"Since then, we have received from the congregation the decree of validity and a relator has been appointed," Conventual Franciscan Father Zdzislaw Kijas, Father Leclerc added.

Thus the Vatican phase of the process is officially under way.

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On the Net:

ATD Fourth World: www.atd-fourthworld.org/en.html