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Hunger cannot be accepted as routine, Pope says in World Food Day message

October 16, 2013

In a message for World Food Day, Pope Francis has said that “hunger and malnutrition can never be considered a fact of life.”

In his message the Pope deplored “a growing tendency toward individualism and inwardness, which leads to a certain attitude of indifference – at a personal, institutional and State level – towards those who die of hunger and suffer as a result of malnutrition, as if it were an inescapable fact.”

“Something must change in us, in ourselves, in our mentality, in our societies,” the Pope argued. He called for breaking down the “barriers of individualism,” not only at the personal level but also in the global economy. The Pontiff urged that we “educate ourselves in solidarity, and learn to make decisions based on the common good.

The persistence of poverty, in a world marked by affluence, raises “serious questions on the need to modify our lifestyles,” the Pope continued. He pointed to the “consumerism, waster, and squander” in some societies, and said that the elimination of this “throwaway culture” might in itself be sufficient to curb poverty and hunger.

The UN observes World Food Day on October 16. The Pope’s message was addressed to José Graziano de Silva, the director-general of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.


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