Vatican to Publish Document on Poverty

Cardinal Says Economic Inequality a "Dramatic" Problem

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DAR-ES-SALAAM, Tanzania, SEPT. 2, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace announced the forthcoming publication by the Holy See of a document analyzing poverty in the context of globalization.



Cardinal Renato Martino revealed news of the publication during a 4-day congress on evangelization last week in Dar-Es-Salaam organized by the dicastery.

The theme of the conference was "Toward a New Evangelization of African Society in Accordance with the Social Doctrine of the Church."

During the conference Cardinal Martino officially presented the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, which was published in October 2004, to the Church in Africa.

The cardinal stated that "since the Second Vatican Council, the preferential option for the poor is one of the points that most characterizes the social doctrine of the Church," reported Vatican Radio.

"Poverty and, above all, the growing inequality between areas, continents and countries, including within the latter, constitutes the most dramatic problem facing the world today," he added.

The cardinal explained that the new document of the dicastery will attempt to offer concrete answers to the problem of poverty in keeping with the Church's social doctrine.

Evangelical approach

"The intention is to point out an evangelical approach to combat poverty, to identify -- both at the national and the international level -- those responsible for combating poverty, to sensitize the Church to greater and more articulated attention to and awareness of the problems of poverty and of the poor of the world," he said.

"It must not be forgotten that today extreme poverty has, above all, the face of women and children, especially in Africa," the cardinal added.

Cardinal Martino said that the dynamism of evangelization "must drive the Church to privilege the poor, to direct our strength to the poor, to consider the renewal of society from the needs of the poor."

In regard to globalization, the cardinal pointed out that "an indispensable act of charity" is the "determination that has as its end the organization and structure of society so that a neighbor does not have to live in misery."

He said this determination must be all the greater if one takes into account that poverty "is a situation facing a great number of people, including whole populations, a situation that today has acquired the proportions of a real worldwide social issue."