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Vatican, Asian envoys speak on economics and happiness

March 10, 2011

The Pontifical Council for Culture gathered ambassadors from more than 20 Asian nations for a March 10 conference on the relationship between economic welfare and human happiness.

After the ambassadors were greeted by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Ambassador Thomas Hong-Soon Han of Korea delivered the keynote presentation, arguing that economic development alone cannot satisfy human needs.

“The world is like a human body,” the Korean envoy said, in that “if one part aches the whole will suffer.” He said that while economic development is important to the common good, a healthy society also shows a reverence for human life and a respect for religious freedom—two attitudes that are notably lacking in Asian countries today. These problems, he said, manifest another “form of poverty.”


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