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EU, religious leaders discuss poverty, social exclusion

CWN - July 20, 2010

The presidents of the European Commission, the European Council, and the European Parliament took part in their sixth annual meeting with religious leaders on July 19. Bishop Adrianus van Luyn of Rotterdam, Cardinal Péter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Archbishop Stanislav Zvolenský of Bratislava, and Dr. Flaminia Giovanelli, the undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, were the members of the Catholic delegation. The meeting was devoted to combating poverty and social exclusion.

“We can neither allow the poorest and the weakest in our society to become the victims of this crisis yet again, nor can we burden future generations with the task of cleaning up after our mistakes while failing to do anything ourselves,” said Bishop van Luyn, the president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union. Quoting Ven. John Paul II, Archbishop Zvolenský called for “social policies which have the family as their principal object,” while Dr. Giovanelli, citing Pope Benedict’s recent encyclical Caritas in Veritate, spoke of “a broad new composite reality embracing the private and public spheres, one which does not exclude profit, but instead considers it a means for achieving human and social ends.”

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