2017-04-04 11:33:00

Pope receives Populorum progressio conference participants

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Tuesday received participants attending an International Conference marking the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI social encyclical 'Populorum progressio', telling them that only the path of integration between peoples can bring about a future of peace and hope.

Listen to our report:

50 years ago Blessed Paul VI promulgated his social encyclical 'Populorum progressio' on the development of peoples. In it the Pope calls for all nations to initiate dialogue and collaboration so developing countries no longer risk being overwhelmed by debt. It also expresses the principle of solidarity.

To mark the milestone anniversary of this document an International Conference has been taking place this week aimed at studying the theological anthropological and pastoral perspectives of the encyclical and formulate guidelines for the activity of the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

And it was on this subject of Integral Human Development that Pope Francis addressed participants who have been attending this meeting.

He asked those present what does this phrase means today and in the near future?

The Holy Father answered that Integral Human Development meant  “to integrate the different peoples of the earth.”

The duty of solidarity, he continued,  “requires us to seek a fair sharing mode, because there is a dramatic inequality between those who have too much and those who have nothing, including those who discard and who are discarded. Only the path of integration between peoples can bring about  a future of peace and hope.”

Integral Human Development, the Pope went on to say, “is to offer viable models of social integration. “Everyone has a contribution to make to the whole of society, everyone has a feature that can be used to live together, no one is excluded from making something for the good of all. This is both a right and a duty”, he said

Quoting his predecessor Blessed Paul VI, the Pope said that “development is not reduced to a mere economic growth. It does not consist in having more and more goods…”

The development of the human person, explained the Holy Father at the end of the day means the integration of  body and soul. But he noted, that this integration also means that “no development work can really achieve its purpose if it does not respect the place where God is present to us and speaks to our hearts.”

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