Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"We Cannot Look the Other Way" – To Fight Hunger, Francis Goes "PopeAid"

At noon today (whatever one's local time), a global "wave of prayer" is taking place to launch a Caritas Internationalis campaign to end world hunger... and to mark the moment, the church's worldwide charity arm has unleashed the Secret Weapon:

Together with the video, the following prayer for the effort has been circulated....

O God, you entrusted to us the fruits of all creation so that we might care for the earth and be nourished with its bounty.

You sent us your Son to share our very flesh and blood and to teach us your Law of Love.

Through His death and resurrection, we have been formed into one human family.

Jesus showed great concern for those who had no food – even transforming five loaves and two fish into a banquet that served five thousand and many more.

We come before you, O God, conscious of our faults and failures, but full of hope, to share food with all members in this global family.

Through your wisdom, inspire leaders of government and of business, as well as all the world’s citizens, to find just, and charitable solutions to end hunger by assuring that all people enjoy the right to food.

Thus we pray, O God, that when we present ourselves for Divine Judgment, we can proclaim ourselves as “One Human Family” with “Food for All”. Amen.
At a May general audience that coincided with the UN's World Food Day, Papa Bergoglio debuted what's since become a frequent point of his Magisterium, assailing a "throw-away culture" or "culture of waste" that disregards those most in need.

"If in so many parts of the world there are children who have nothing to eat, that's not news, it seems normal. It cannot be this way!" Francis said.

"This culture of waste has made us insensitive even to the waste and disposal of food, which is even more despicable when all over the world, unfortunately, many individuals and families are suffering from hunger and malnutrition. Once our grandparents were very careful not to throw away any leftover food. Consumerism has led us to become used to an excess and daily waste of food, to which, at times, we are no longer able to give a just value, which goes well beyond mere economic parameters. We should all remember, however, that the food we throw away is as if [it were] stolen from the table of the poor, the hungry! I encourage everyone to reflect on the problem of thrown away and wasted food to identify ways and means that, by seriously addressing this issue, are a vehicle of solidarity and sharing with the needy."
Represented in the US by Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities USA, the worldwide Caritas confederation is chaired by the Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga – as coordinator of Francis' Council of Cardinals, the closest thing this pontificate has to a "Vice-Pope."

Rodríguez released his own message for today's launch en español: