Pope Urges Indigenous Peoples' Development

Says Lack of Hope Is Real Poverty

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 14, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Development has to be integral, that is, it must involve all aspects of the person, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope said this today when addressing the administrative council of the Populorum Progressio Foundation.

"Frequently, man's real poverty is his lack of hope," the Holy Father said, "the absence of a Father who gives meaning to his existence. Frequently the deepest root of suffering is precisely the absence of God."

The "Populorum Progressio" Foundation, established in conjunction with the celebrations for the fifth centenary of the evangelization of the American continent, aims at the advancement of the most marginalized populations in Latin American and Caribbean societies, with an eye toward the total development of the person.

The Pontiff continued: "The development of these people should have, as a pastoral principle, a global anthropological vision of the human person," which he defined according to the foundation's statutes with the term "integral development."

Quoting Paul VI's 1967 encyclical "Populorum Progressio," Benedict XVI said, "True humanism points the way toward God and acknowledges the task to which we are called, the task which offers us the real meaning of human life."