Pope: 'Selfish' Systems Cause World Hunger

Pope Benedict XVI said persistent world hunger was a "tragedy" driven by selfish and profit-driven economic models, whose first victims are millions of children deprived of life or good health. In responding to the crisis, international agencies should rediscover the value of the family farm, promoting the movement of young people back into rural areas, the pope said July 1 in an address to participants in an annual conference on hunger organized by the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. Meeting with the group at the Vatican, the pope noted that millions of men, women and children remain without adequate nourishment today. "My thoughts turn toward the situation of millions of children, who are the first victims of this tragedy, condemned to an early death or to a delay in their physical or psychic development, or forced into forms of exploitation just to receive minimal nutrition," he said. The pope said the cause of such hunger cannot be found only in technical developments such as production cycles or commodity prices. "Poverty, underdevelopment and, therefore, hunger are often the result of selfish behaviors that, born in the human heart, manifest themselves in social life, economic exchange, in market conditions and in the lack of access to food," the pope said. "How can we be silent about the fact that even food has become the object of speculation or is tied to the course of a financial market that, lacking definite rules and poor in moral principles, appears anchored to the sole objective of profit?" he said. The pope said the United Nations' own studies show that global food production is able to feed the world's population -- which makes the situations of hunger all the more unjust.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago speaks Nov. 13 during the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Cardinal Bernardin’s consistent ethic of life could be helpful as the church grapples with issues like migration, health care and even taxes, some bishops say.
Michael J. O’LoughlinNovember 17, 2017
Giant machines dig for brown coal at the open-cast mining Garzweiler in front of a power plant near the city of Grevenbroich in western Germany in April 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
“What we need to do is just continue to live out the challenge of ‘Laudato Si’,’ which is to examine our relationship with the earth, with God and with each other to see how we can become better stewards of this gift of the earth.”
Kevin ClarkeNovember 17, 2017
Hipsters love the authentic, the craft and the obscure—which is exactly why Catholicism, in its practices and its aesthetic, is perfectly suited for them.
Zac DavisNovember 17, 2017
In response to a query from America, Steve Bannon said, “The daily examen has become a tool for me to lead a better, more fulfilled life.”
James T. KeaneNovember 17, 2017