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Pope challenges G8 leaders on economic justice, peace

Catholic World News - June 17, 2013

In a message to the leaders of the G8 industrial nations, who are meeting in Northern Ireland this week, Pope Francis said said that “the goal of economics and politics is to serve humanity, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable wherever they may be, even in their mothers' wombs.”

The Pope’s message—sent to British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is hosting the June meeting of the G8—said that any economic system should be designed to help all people live with dignity, raise their families, and achieve their potential. He said that “in the absence of such a vision, all economic activity is meaningless.”

Fleshing out his thought the Pope said that “concern for the fundamental material and spiritual welfare of every human person is the starting-point for every political and economic solution and the ultimate measure of its effectiveness and its ethical validity.” He added that the world’s economic system should “enable the maximum expression of freedom and creativity, both individual and collective, while on the other hand it must promote and guarantee their responsible exercise in solidarity, with particular attention to the poorest.”

Pope Francis indicated his support for proposals brought before the G8 to fight hunger and provide food security for those in need, and to protect women and children from violence. He observed, however, that such violence frequently occurs during military conflicts, and urged the world’s most powerful leaders to take action for the cause of peace. Specifically, he said that the G8 “cannot fail to address the situation in the Middle East, especially in Syria.”

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