Pope Urges a Reevaluation of Agriculture

Says It's Time to Promote Responsible Consumption

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 14, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The time is now to launch a reevaluation of agriculture, and place the sector back into its rightful place in the global economy, says Benedict XVI.



The Pope reflected on the situation of modern agriculture today before praying the midday Angelus together with those gathered in St. Peter's Square, which coincided with Thanksgiving Day in Italy.

"The current economic crisis," the Holy Father began, "must be taken in all its seriousness: It has numerous causes and sends a powerful message about the need for a profound revision of the model of global economic development."

And one area that needs revision and "a strategic re-launching," he added, is agriculture.

"I believe that this is the moment for the reevaluation of agriculture, not in a nostalgic sense, but as an indispensable resource for the future," the Pontiff affirmed.

Benedict XVI lamented that even during the current global economic crisis, in certain industrialized countries, "lifestyles marked by unsustainable consumption -- which have damaging effects for the environment and the poor -- still continue."

"It is necessary," he continued, "to point in a truly unified way to a new balance between agriculture, industry and services, so that development be sustainable, and no one go without bread and work, and so that air and water and the other primary resources be preserved as universal goods.

"To this end, it is essential to cultivate and spread a clear ethic that is up to the task of addressing current challenges."

The Pope delineated some points of the ethic, including the duty of each person to "educate themselves in more wise and responsible consumption."

He also urged "personal responsibility" and the promotion of "rural" values, such as "hospitality, solidarity [and] the sharing of the toil of labor."
 
"More than a few young people have already chosen this path," The Holy Father concluded. "Also, many professionals are returning to dedicate themselves to the agricultural enterprise, feeling that they are responding not only to a personal and family need, but also to a 'sign of the times,' to a concrete sensibility for the 'common good.'"

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-30955?l=english