Pope to UN: Hunger will Not Abate until Slavery to Profit is Addressed

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October 30, 2013; Catholic World News


Saying that the problem of world hunger is caused not by a shortage of food, but by economic and social structures that exclude the needy, Archbishop Francis Chullikatt quoted Pope Francis as saying that it was necessary to eschew “the temptations of power, wealth, and self-interest…Hunger, like all forms of poverty, is caused by exclusion.”

Chullikatt said that hunger should be addressed as a human-rights issue, and he called for equitable distribution of food. He also said that proposed solutions to the problem of hunger must be guided by the principles of subsidiarity rather than entrusted to large global organizations. He explained subsidiarity by saying,“This principle recommends that human activities be carried out at the most local and immediate level possible, so as to maximize participation.”

In another recent message to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Pope Francis called hunger and malnutrition in today’s world a scandal, and condemned what he calls a globalization of indifference towards it—a tendency to look upon it as an “inevitable fact.”

In that statement, the Pope urged that “the barriers of individualism and the slavery of profit at all cost,” be broken down. “We need to re-educate ourselves in the value and meaning of solidarity, an uncomfortable word that is often put to one side.”—Ruth McCambridge

  • Steven

    Pope Francis nailed the problem of world hunger!
    The term “scandal” is an understatement!!
    There is no shortage of food in the world — just a shortage of the international political will to get the food to the hungry —
    As long as despots keep their constituencies subjugated, and the UN hunger “experts” stay holed up in Manhattan, and there is financial gain from exploiting the hungry, we will perpetuate hunger and malnutrition in the world.

  • Chris

    Thank you, Ruth, for calling attention to what is easily ignored or passed over as the inevitability of hunger, and thanks to the Pope for calling to our collective humanity. The right to food, freedom from hunger, is so basic in a world of such plenty that acquiescence in the face of starvation and malnutrition is ethically, politically and economically indefensible. It’s too easy to cry “socialism” or point the finger at corruption, although often quite true. It doesn’t matter why there is hunger, mass starvation or chronic malnutrition. That it exists at all is reason enough to voice and vote for doing what we now know can be done to insure basic nutrition as a human right. There is more than enough food to feed a population well beyond the current level. Getting it where it’s needed requires the political and popular will to do so. For so much of human history we’ve lived with the fact that “the poor will always be with us”… but given modern agricultural and transportation systems, what was once a fact is now a myth, yet we still live with the myth. Polio is being eradicated, rights of women and girls is spreading across the globe. The limitations imposed by the profit model are also myths. When hunger is eradicated it will unleash an unprecedented flood of human energy and innovation, new markets and profit enough for all. The persistence of hunger for some reflects the spiritual impoverishment of us all. Thanks to Pope Frances, and to NPQ for featuring this message.