Pope’s Message for World Food Day: Wasting the bread of the poor

Pope Francis begins his message by referring to the theme for this year’s World Food Day: “Our Actions Are Our Future. Healthy Diets for a ZeroHunger World”. The Pope notes that “despite efforts made in recent decades, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is yet to be implemented in many parts of the world”.

Pope Francis calls attention to the “distorted relationship between food and nutrition”. He cites the fact that while 820 million people suffer from hunger in the world, “almost 700 million are overweight”. He calls it a “cruel, unjust and paradoxical reality” that there is food for everyone and yet not everyone has access to it. The Pope laments the fact that “food is wasted, discarded and consumed in excess, or destined for other purposes than nutrition”.

Poor nutrition gives rise to pathologies caused by “excess”, says the Pope, giving the examples of “diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other forms of degenerative diseases”, but also by “deficiency”, as documented by “an increasing number of deaths from anorexia and bulimia”.

This reality calls for a conversion in our way of living and acting, adds the Pope. “Nutritional disorders can only be combatted by the cultivation of lifestyles inspired by gratitude for the gifts we have received and the adoption of a spirit of temperance, moderation, abstinence, self-control and solidarity”.

By adopting a more “simple and sober lifestyle”, continues Pope Francis. Pope Francis goes on to stress the primary role played by the family. “Within the family, and thanks to the particular sensitivity and wisdom of women and mothers, we learn how to enjoy the fruits of the earth without abusing it”, he writes.

Pope Francis concludes his message for World Food Day by stating that “the battle against hunger and malnutrition will not end as long as the logic of the market prevails and profit is sought at any cost”.

Synod Day 7: Appreciating the charism of the laity, distancing ourselves from clericalism

During the 10th General Congregation which took place on the afternoon of 14 October, the participants in the Special Amazon Synod continued their work. In addition to Pope Francis, there were 177 Synod Fathers present, as well as other auditors, experts and invited guests.

Rethinking ministry in the Church in the light of the parameters of synodality so that the Church might be more and more formed by the Word of God was defined as one of the challenges of the Church in the Amazon region. Several interventions given this afternoon in the Synod Hall highlighted this.

It was also said that the gifts of the laity need to be better expressed and appreciated in a ministerial Church. Thanks to the laity, the Church is manifesting itself as a Church moving outward, distancing itself from clericalism. One intervention in particular suggested that the question of the so-called viri probati and the discussion regarding ministries open to women should be treated in an Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops since this theme affects the universal Church. Others suggested that women could be included in non-ordained ministries, ministries intended as service, so as to guarantee the dignity and equality of women in the entire Pan-Amazonian territory. Such ministries could be, for example, that of presiding over celebrations of the Word, or leading the activity of a social-charitable nature.

Another intervention counselled that prior to having viri probati priests, it would be necessary to think of viri probati deacons—that is, that the viri probati priests would come from the ranks of permanent deacons. The Permanent Deaconate can, therefore, be an appropriate “laboratory” for the possible future inclusion of married men to the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

Sexual exploitation of the young was a recurring theme. One person said that criminal networks rob children of their infancy, making them also victims of the trafficking of organs. At the bottom of all of this are grave economic inequality and the lack of government intervention capable of combatting such horrendous crimes both at the local and international levels. Thus arose the appeal for an increased commitment in the area of prevention, including the involvement of the Episcopal Conferences and religious congregations.

From other interventions, there emerged the importance of the pastoral work for vocations which cannot be left out of the work of evangelization.

 World Youth Day 2019

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