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The Garden of God

Toward A Human Ecology


Publication Year: 2014

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Title Page, Copyrigth Page

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-viii

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Foreword: The Urgency of a Human Ecology

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pp. ix-xviii

In recent years, photovoltaic panels have been installed on the roof of the principal auditorium of the Vatican to produce electricity from the Roman sun. Its dining rooms now benefit from a solar cooling system. To compensate for its carbon dioxide emissions, the Vatican has begun to cultivate a...

Part 1. Creation and Nature

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In Contact with Nature, Individuals Rediscover That They Are Creatures “Capable of God”

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p. 3-3

In the world in which we live, the need to be physically and mentally replenished has become as it were essential, especially to those who dwell in cities where the often frenzied pace of life leaves little room for silence, reflection, and relaxing contact with nature. Moreover, holidays are days on which we can give...

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Creation Is a Gift So That It Might Become the Garden of God and Hence a Garden for Men and Women

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pp. 4-6

Let us ask ourselves now, at this Pentecost Vigil, who or what is the Holy Spirit? How can we recognize him? How do we go to him and how does he come to us? What does he do?
The Church’s great Pentecostal hymn with which we began Vespers, “Veni, Creator Spiritus . . . Come, Holy Spirit,” gives us a first answer. Here the hymn refers to the first verses of the ...

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Creation, with All of Its Gifts, Aspires Above and Beyond Itself

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pp. 7-10

On the eve of his Passion, during the Passover meal, the Lord took the bread in his hands—as we heard a short time ago in the Gospel passage—and, having blessed it, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying: “Take this, this is my body.” He then took the chalice, gave thanks, and passed it to them and...

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The Amazon River, a Fountain of Life

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pp. 10-13

Since I am unable to be present in person at the new and important meeting for the safeguard of creation, which you have organized with the Sixth Symposium on “Religion, Science, and the Environment,” dedicated to the Amazon River, I entrust the task of bringing you my cordial greeting to Cardinal Roger Etchegaray....

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The “Ecology of Peace”

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pp. 13-17

8. In his encyclical letter Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II wrote: “Not only has God given the earth to man, who must use it with respect for the original good purpose for which it was given to him, but man too is God’s gift to man. He must therefore respect the natural and moral structure with which he has been endowed.”2 By responding to this charge, entrusted ...

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Man Has Received Creation So That He Might Implement God’s Plan

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pp. 18-19

1. We, Benedict XVI, Pope and Bishop of Rome, and Chrysostomos II, Archbishop of Nea Justiniana and All Cyprus, full of hope for the future of our Churches’ relations, thank God with joy for this fraternal meeting in our common faith in the Risen Christ. This visit has enabled us to observe how these relations...

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The Arctic: Mirror of Life

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pp. 19-21

It gives me great joy to greet you and all those taking part in the Seventh Symposium of the Religion, Science, and the Environment movement, which this year turns its attention to the subject: “The Arctic: Mirror of Life.” Your own dedication and personal commitment to the protection of the environment...

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The Wonder of Creation and the Scars Which Mark the Surface of the Earth

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pp. 21-27

For some of us, it might seem like we have come to the end of the world! For people of your age, however, any flight is an exciting prospect. But for me, this one was somewhat daunting! Yet the views afforded of our planet from the air were truly wondrous. The sparkle of the Mediterranean, the grandeur...

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What Air Is for Biological Life, the Holy Spirit Is for Spiritual Life

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pp. 27-32

Every time we celebrate the Eucharist we live in faith the mystery that is fulfilled on the altar, that is, we take part in the supreme act of love that Christ accomplished with his death and Resurrection. The one and only center of the liturgy and Christian life itself the Paschal Mystery acquires in the various solemnities...

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The Protection of Creation

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pp. 32-35

The various phenomena of environmental degradation and natural disasters which, unfortunately, are often reported in the news remind us of the urgent need to respect nature as we should, recovering and appreciating a correct relationship with the environment in everyday life. A new sensitivity to these topics...

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The Keys to the Earth Are in the Hands of Man

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pp. 35-36

The Holy See pavilion, one of the most visited and appreciated, housed an important exhibition of the valuable artistic, cultural, and religious patrimony that the Church looks after. The initiative aimed to offer its numerous visitors a timely...

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Creation Is Marked by Finitude

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pp. 36-38

This year, we have been accompanied along our itinerary through the Sunday biblical readings by St. Mark’s Gospel, which today presents to us part of Jesus’ discourse on the end of times. In this discourse is a phrase whose terse clarity is striking: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass...

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If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation

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pp. 38-52

1. At the beginning of this New Year, I wish to offer heartfelt greetings of peace to all Christian communities, international leaders, and people of good will throughout the world. For this forty-third World Day of Peace I have chosen the theme: “If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation.” Respect for creation...

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The Protection of Creation, an Element of Peace and of Justice

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pp. 52-61

The Church is open to everyone because, in God, she lives for others! She thus shares deeply in the fortunes of humanity, which in this new year continues to be marked by the dramatic crisis of the global economy and consequently a serious and widespread social instability. In my encyclical...

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The Word of God and the Protection of Creation

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pp. 61-62

108. Engagement with the world, as demanded by God’s word, makes us look with new eyes at the entire created cosmos, which contains traces of that word through whom all things were made (cf. Jn 1:2). As men and women who believe in and proclaim the Gospel, we have a responsibility toward creation. Revelation...

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In Contemplating Creation Man Has a Profound Sense of Gratitude and Recognition, but Also of Responsibility for Tilling and Keeping the Work of God

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pp. 63-65

Sports are one of the means that contribute to the person’s harmonious development and to his moral perfection.59 Your duty as “ski instructors” helps to stimulate various capacities, for example, for persistence in pursuing goals, for respecting rules, and for tenacity in confronting and surmounting difficulties....

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The World Is a Product of Creative Reason

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pp. 65-71

The liturgical celebration of the Easter Vigil makes use of two eloquent signs. First there is the fire that becomes light. As the procession makes its way through the church, shrouded in the darkness of the night, the light of the paschal candle becomes a wave of lights, and it speaks to us of Christ as the true...

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The Earth Seen from Space Is Beautiful and Fragile

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pp. 71-72

One of the themes I often return to in my discourses concerns the responsibility we all have toward the future of our planet. I recall the serious risks facing the environment and the survival of future generations. Scientists tell us we have to be careful and from an ethical point of view we must develop our...

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Human Ecology Is an Imperative Need

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pp. 73-76

Since I have the opportunity for a special meeting with each one of you, I would now like to speak more broadly. The first six months of this year have been marked by innumerable tragedies which have concerned nature, technology, and peoples. The...

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The Created World Is Not Merely a Scenario into Which God’s Saving Action Is Inserted, but Rather the Very Beginning of That Marvelous Action

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pp. 76-83

Today I would like to meditate with you on a psalm that sums up the entire history of salvation recorded in the Old Testament. It is a great hymn of praise that celebrates the Lord in the multiple, repeated expressions of his goodness throughout human history: it is Psalm 136 or 135 according to the Greco-Latin ...

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Be Praised My Lord through All Your Creatures

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pp. 83-88

I welcome you with great joy at this meeting dedicated to your commitment to “Sister Nature,” to use the name of the Foundation that has sponsored it. I cordially greet Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga and thank him for his words to me also on your behalf, and for his gift of the precious facsimile of Codex ...

Part 2. The Environment, Science, and Technology

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The Harmony of Faith and Knowledge

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pp. 91-94

Holy Father, I am Giovanni, I am seventeen years old, I am studying at Giovanni Giorgi technological and scientific secondary school in Rome, and I belong to Holy Mary Mother of Mercy Parish.
I ask you to help us to understand better how biblical revelation and scientific theory can converge in the search for truth....

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Remembrance of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Tragedy at Chernobyl

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p. 94-94

Today is the twentieth anniversary of the tragic accident which occurred in the nuclear power plant of Chernobyl. I feel the need to express my great appreciation for the families, associations, civil authorities, and Christian communities who, over...

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Environment, Human Person, Spiritual Values: Three Challenges to Face in the Service of Justice Inspired by Charity

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pp. 95-98

As the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences gathers for its thirteenth plenary session, I am pleased to greet you and your distinguished confreres and to convey my prayerful good wishes for your deliberations....

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The Irresponsible Exploitation of the Environment Reflects an Inhumane Concept of Development

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pp. 98-101

The Church’s diplomatic relations form a part of her mission of service to the international community. This engagement with civil society is anchored in her conviction that the hope of building a more just world must acknowledge man’s...

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Scientific Knowledge and Technology Are Always Applied in Full Respect for International Rights

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pp. 102-103

Last Sunday, recalling the “Note” that Pope Benedict XV addressed to the belligerent countries in the First World War on 1 August ninety years ago, I dwelled on the theme of peace.
Now a new occasion invites me to reflect on another important subject connected with this theme. Precisely today, in fact,...

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Strengthening the Alliance between Man and the Environment

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pp. 103-104

Today is the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Montreal Protocol on substances that impoverish the ozone layer, causing serious damage to the human being and the ecosystem.
In the past two decades, thanks to exemplary collaboration in the international community between politics, science, and...

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Family, Human Community, and the Environment

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pp. 104-106

7. The family needs a home, a fit environment in which to develop its proper relationships. For the human family, this home is the earth, the environment that God the Creator has given us to inhabit with creativity and responsibility. We need to care for the environment: it has been entrusted to men and women to...

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New Men for a New World

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pp. 106-107

Humanity needs to be liberated and redeemed. Creation itself— as St. Paul says—suffers and nurtures the hope that it will share in the freedom of the children of God (cf. Rom 8:19–22). These words are true in today’s world too. Creation is suffering....

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Natural Law as a Guarantee against Manipulations and Abuses against Man

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p. 108-108

Then, regarding the third theme, “sense and method of theology,” that has been the special object of study in this quinquennial, I am keen to underline its relevance and actuality. In a “planetary society” as that which is being formed today, theologians are asked by the public opinion above all to promote ...

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More Modest Lifestyles to Slow Down Environmental Degradation

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pp. 109-111

Our meeting is taking place on the occasion of today’s celebration of World Tourism Day. The theme this year—“Tourism Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change”—points to a very timely problem, which concerns the potential of the tourist...

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The Use of Alternative Energies Contributes to Mankind’s Desire to Be Better Stewards of God’s Creation

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pp. 111-112

On the global scene, the Holy See appreciates the interest your country has shown in favoring a greater involvement of the international community in the promotion of peace through the defense of human rights and the rule of law, in the struggle against poverty and especially in the protection of the environment....

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Man Knows the Advantage That the Universe Has over Him; the Universe, Instead, Knows Nothing

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pp. 112-116

Ever since the mid-nineteenth century when the Augustinian Abbot, Gregor Mendel, discovered the laws of the heredity of characteristics, for which he is considered the founder of genetics, this science has truly taken giant steps in the understanding of that language which is at the foundation of biological information...

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Even the Decisions of Individuals, Families, and Local Administrations Are Fundamental for the Preservation of the Environment

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pp. 116-118

Today the Lord grants us to begin a new year in his Name and under the gaze of Mary Most Holy, the solemnity of whose Divine Motherhood we are celebrating today. I am glad to meet you for this first Angelus of 2010. I address those of you who have gathered in large numbers in St. Peter’s Square and also...

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Social Responsibility Means More Attention to the Needs of Workers, the Good of the Community, and the Respect of the Environment

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pp. 118-121

I would also like to express my pleasure at your project of cooperation with the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel, in the endeavor to respond to the emergency in water and energy resources in their developing countries....

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Science as a Place of Dialogue, the Meeting between Man and Nature and Potentially Even between Man and His Creator

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pp. 121-124

The history of science in the twentieth century is one of undoubted achievement and major advances. Unfortunately, the popular image of twentieth-century science is sometimes characterized otherwise, in two extreme ways. On the one hand, science is posited by some as a panacea, proven by its...

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Unlimited Speculation Has a Negative Impact on the Environment and on Man Himself

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pp. 124-125

However, no less worrying are the phenomena linked to a financial system which, after the most acute phase of the crisis, has returned to the frenzied practice of drawing up credit contracts that often allow unlimited speculation. The phenomenon of harmful speculation occurs also in regard to staple foodstuffs,...

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Ecology of Man, Ecology of the Environment

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pp. 125-133

But the invitation to give this address was extended to me as pope, as the bishop of Rome, who bears the highest responsibility for Catholic Christianity. In issuing this invitation you are acknowledging the role that the Holy See plays as a partner within the community of peoples and states. Setting out from this international...

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The Church Must Encourage Governments to Protect the Fundamental Goods Which Are the Earth and Water

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pp. 134-136

79. Together with the synod fathers, I ask all the members of the Church to work and speak out in favor of an economy that cares for the poor and is resolutely opposed to an unjust order which, under the pretext of reducing poverty, has often helped to aggravate it.27 God has given Africa important natural...

Part 3. Hunger, Poverty, and the Earth's Resources

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Nourishing the World’s Population with Respect for Biodiversity

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pp. 139-141

This year, which marks the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the celebration of World Food Day reminds us that hunger and malnutrition unfortunately feature among the worst scandals that still affect the life of the human family. This makes...

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Without Solidarity between Countries There Is a Risk of Impeding the Work of International Organizations Committed to Fighting Hunger and Malnutrition

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pp. 141-144

The annual celebration of World Food Day, sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, is an opportunity to review the numerous activities of this organization, specifically with regard to its twofold aim: to provide adequate nutrition for our brothers and sisters throughout the ...

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A New Europe Free from the Unique Form of “Apostasy” from Itself

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pp. 145-148

Since March 1957, this continent has travelled a long road, which has led to the reconciliation of its two “lungs”—the East and the West—linked by a common history, but arbitrarily separated by a curtain of injustice. Economic integration has stimulated political unification and encouraged the continuing and...

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When the Logic of Sharing and Solidarity Prevails It Is Possible to Direct the Course toward an Equitable and Sustainable Development

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pp. 149-150

During the solemn Eucharistic celebration, by commenting on the liturgical texts, I was able to pause and reflect on the correct use of earthly goods, a theme the Evangelist Luke proposes for our attention this Sunday in various ways....

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The Right to Food

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pp. 150-153

1. This year the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, which you direct, invites the international community, remembering once again its foundation, to tackle one of the gravest challenges of our time: freeing millions of human beings from hunger, whose lives are in danger due to a lack of daily bread....

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Justly Administering the Fruits of Creation

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pp. 154-157

Yet, how can one remain insensitive to the appeals of those who, on the various continents, are not able to feed themselves enough to live? Poverty and malnutrition are not a mere fatality caused by adverse environmental circumstances or by disastrous natural calamities. On the other hand, considerations of...

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Selfishness and Speculation as Obstacles to the Fight against Hunger

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pp. 157-160

The theme chosen this year for Word Food Day, “World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy,” permits a reflection on what has been achieved in the fight against hunger and on the obstacles to the action of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in the face ...

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Fighting Poverty to Build Peace

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pp. 160-174

1. Once again, as the new year begins, I want to extend good wishes for peace to people everywhere. With this message I would like to propose a reflection on the theme: “Fighting Poverty to Build Peace.” Back in 1993, my venerable predecessor Pope John Paul II, in his Message for the World Day of Peace that year, drew attention to the negative repercussions for peace when ...

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An Equitable Access to the Earth’s Resources Should Be Guaranteed to Everyone

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pp. 174-177

I am pleased to have this opportunity to meet all of you at the conclusion of the celebrations marking the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of the International Fund for Agricultural Development. I thank the outgoing president, Mr. Lennart Båge, for his kind words and I offer congratulations...

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Integral Human Development in Charity and in Truth

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pp. 177-189

27. Life in many poor countries is still extremely insecure as a consequence of food shortages, and the situation could become worse: hunger still reaps enormous numbers of victims among those who, like Lazarus, are not permitted to take their place at the rich man’s table, contrary to the hopes expressed by...

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An Integral Human Development to Give Voice to Every Nation

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pp. 189-195

With a view to the upcoming G8, the group of the heads of state and government of the most industrialized countries, that will be taking place in L’Aquila from 8 to 10 July under the Italian presidency, I am pleased to send a cordial greeting to you and to all the participants. I therefore willingly take the...

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More Agricultural Investments in Poor Countries

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pp. 195-197

If the celebration of World Food Day recalls the foundation of the FAO and its action in the fight against hunger and malnutrition in the world, it stresses above all the urgent need for interventions on behalf of all who are without daily bread, in so many countries, because of inadequate food security....

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For Development to Be Sustainable It Is Necessary to Aim at a Balance between Farming, Industry, and Services

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pp. 197-199

In the Second Reading of today’s liturgy, the Apostle Paul underlines the importance of work for the life of man. We are reminded of this idea on Thanksgiving Day, which is traditionally celebrated in Italy on this second Sunday in November, as the offering of thanks to God at the end of the harvest season....

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The Farmer as a Model of a Mentality That Unites Faith and Reason

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pp. 199-200

Advent calls us to develop inner tenacity, resistance of the spirit, which enables us not to despair while waiting for a good that is slow in coming, but on the contrary to prepare for its coming with active trust....

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Adequate Food Concerns the Fundamental Right to Life

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pp. 200-205

1. I am particularly glad to welcome you who are attending the thirty-seventh conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. You are perpetuating a long and happy tradition, inaugurated sixty years ago at the time the FAO was established in Rome....

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Agricultural Work as an Objective Strategy of Growth and Integral Development

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pp. 205-210

1. While the annual celebration of World Food Day wishes to commemorate the foundation of the FAO and its commitment to agricultural development to combat hunger and malnutrition, it is also an opportunity to emphasize the plight of so many of our brothers and sisters who lack daily bread....

Scriptural Index

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pp. 211-212

General Index

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pp. 213-219

E-ISBN-13: 9780813225807
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813225791

Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2014