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‘Debureaucratize’ the response to the hunger, Pope tells World Food Programme

June 13, 2016

Pope Francis visited the offices of the World Food Programme in Rome on June 13 and called upon the UN agency to “debureaucratize” the response to the hunger.

“Today we cannot be satisfied simply with being aware of the problems faced by many of our brothers and sisters,” he said. “It is not enough to offer broad reflections or engage in endless discussion, constantly repeating things everyone knows.”

The Pope continued:

We need to “de-naturalize” extreme poverty, to stop seeing it as a statistic rather than a reality. Why? Because poverty has a face! It has the face of a child; it has the face of a family; it has the face of people, young and old. It has the face of widespread unemployment and lack of opportunity. It has the face of forced migrations, and of empty or destroyed homes.

“Once poverty no longer has a face, we can yield to the temptation of discussing ‘hunger,’ ‘food,’ and ‘violence’ as concepts, without reference to the real people knocking on our doors today,” the Pope added. “Without faces and stories, human lives become statistics and we run the risk of bureaucratizing the sufferings of others.  Bureaucracies shuffle papers; compassion deals with people.”


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  • Posted by: Ken - Jun. 14, 2016 4:46 AM ET USA

    Gosh. The pope almost sounds like a conservative here.