WDP is celebrated every January 1st.
Pope Benedict XVI’s message for the WDP is entitled “Fighting Poverty to Build Peace”. Dated 08 December 2008.
Poverty contributes to conflicts, armed ones included. In turn, conflicts fuel tragic situations of poverty. (n.1)
Besides material poverty, non-material forms exist. In advanced wealthy societies we note marginalization, as well as affective, moral and spiritual poverty (n.2).
Poverty and moral implications. Five areas of concern: 1) demographic change; 2) pandemic diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS; 3) child poverty; 4) relationship between disarmament and development; 5) current food crisis (nn.3 – 7).
Global solidarity and the fight against poverty. “One way of building peace is through a form of globalization directed towards the interests of the whole human family” (n. 8). To govern globalization we need a “strong sense of global solidarity and a common code of ethics” (n.8).
“All countries to be given equal opportunities of access to the world market…” (n. 9).
Finance is “a key aspect of the phenomenon of globalization…” Objectively, the most important function of finance is to sustain the possibility of long-term investment and hence of development (n. 10).
“…the fight against poverty requires cooperation both on the economic level and on the legal level…” (n. 11).
“If the poor are to be given priority we need an ethical approach to economics…an ethical approach to politics…and an ethical approach to participation capable of harnessing the contributions of civil society…” (n. 12).
“What the fight against poverty really needs are men and women who live in profoundly fraternal way and are able to accompany individuals, families and communities on journeys of authentic human development” (n. 13).
Globalization, seen as pointed towards the common good is a good opportunity to fight poverty (n. 14).
The Church extends full cooperation in fighting poverty through “gestures of creative solidarity, by a change of lifestyle, of models of production and consumption and of the established structures of power which today govern societies” (n. 15).
Source: Communication from the Bishop (No. 515, 22 December 2008)