Skip to main content
Read page text

Page Text

Abby Johnson I walked out of the abortion industry INTERVIEW, PAGE 7

Michael Coren Francis is changing hearts, not the faith

BOOK EXTRACT, PAGE 8

Melanie McDonagh Mandela: a saint for the secular

CHARTERHOUSE, PAGE 20

No. 6638

CatholicHerald.co.uk

December 13 2013 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)

Francis: let’s end world hunger now Pope urges faithful to give voice to hungry to create ‘a roar which can shake the world’

BY ED WEST

POPE FRANCIS has given his backing to a new global campaign to end world hunger.

He urged Catholics to stand united against the “scandal of hunger”, stop wasting food and use the world’s resources more responsibly.

People should “stop thinking that our daily actions do not have an impact on the lives of those who suffer from hunger first-hand”, he said in a video message on Monday, launching a global campaign of prayer and action against hunger organised by Caritas Internationalis.

The Vatican-based federation of Catholic charities launched the initiative with a global “wave of prayer” on Tuesday, which started on the South Pacific island of Samoa and travelled west across the world’s time zones.

Pope Francis offered his blessing and support for the “One Human Family, Food For All” campaign in the video message. He said that with roughly a billion people still suffering from hunger today “we cannot look the other way and pretend this does not exist”.

There is enough food in the world to feed everyone, he said, but only “if there is the will” to respect the “Godgiven rights of everyone to have access to adequate food”.

By sharing in Christian charity with those “who face numerous obstacles”, the Pope said, “we promote an authentic cooperation with the poor so that, through the fruits of their and our work, they can live a dignified life”.

Pope Francis invited all people to act “as one single human family, to give a voice to all of those who suffer silently from hunger, so that this voice becomes a roar which can shake the world”.

“One Human Family, Food For All” was launched on December 10 to coincide with the UN’s Human Rights Day. Caritas is calling on the UN to hold a session on the right to food at its 2015 General Assembly and asking governments to guarantee the right to food in national legislation.

Caritas has also invited i ts 164 member organisations and local churches to pray for an end to hunger and malnutrition, by acting on a local, national or global level against food waste and in favour of food access and food security worldwide.

Martina Liebsch, who oversees policy and advocacy for Caritas Internationalis, said: “Our campaign is an appeal to individuals as well as to governments to live up to what these governments signed up to with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“On an individual level, we have to consider that there are so many people who are obese. So it is not just about what we eat, but how. Who is producing this food? Is it the farmer around the corner? Under what conditions are they

HOW TO HELP

To join the campaign visit Food.caritas.org

For lifestyle tips visit Cafod.org.uk/ Campaign/Lifestyle-tips To watch the Pope’s message visit goo.gl/hfu6Ox produced? Are we eating seasonal food or eating food all the time? What do we do with food? I remember my grandmother saying: ‘Don’t waste food. It’s not correct that we waste so much food.’ This is a moral point of view: we can be so aware of what we do.

“It’s also about where the food comes from, supporting small farmers and those subject to climate change.”

She added that Caritas would be emphasising the joy of sharing food, rather than indulging in fast food, and promoting equality, especially among female farmers in the developing world.

“This is a major event for launching our campaign,” she said, “but what we want to do for the future is work on making the right to food enshrined in law, and implementing it.”

This is the first truly international campaign organised by Caritas, which is planning an “action day” next October when every Caritas member group will be encouraged to organise an event to “change the mindset of people”.

Food prices have risen sharply in recent years, and many argue that this was an underlying cause of the uprisings in the Middle East from 2010. Some forecasts predict that global food prices could treble within the next 20 years, leading to hunger and potential instability. Among the causes are the growing middle class in India and China, climate change and market speculation.

Martina Liebsch said: “We think that nowadays, with all the wealth we have in the world, that 842 million still suffering from hunger is wrong, and we’re against the speculation on food, which harms the poor.”

Pope Francis again offered his support for the Caritas campaign at the general audience on Wednesday. He asked pilgrims to repeat the phrase “One Human Family, Food For All” back to him.

Ms Liebsch said that although the campaign had been planned before the papal election in March, “Pope Francis, with his words to reach out to the peripheries with joy, has really encouraged us”.

Philip Booth, a Catholic working for the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, argued that the solution to global hunger did not lie in aid but in further liberalising the market, which has helped to feed growing numbers of people in the past 20 years.

He said: “The key to ending hunger is perhaps illustrated by the astonishing statistic that nearly half of all food rots before it reaches the people in India – including the food for special government schemes to feed the poor.

“While those in the West should be charitable to those in need, anything that happens in the West will be of trivial importance compared with the impact of reforms within poor countries. This involves creating the right institutions so that market economies can develop that allow all to thrive. Corruption, war, bad governance, restrictions on trade, and regulations that prevent proper agricultural and retail sectors from developing are major impediments to combating hunger.”

Pope Francis greets a child as he arrives to lead his general audience in St Peter’s Square CNS photo/Paul Haring

Pope Francis is named Time magazine’s Person of the Year BY WILL GORE

POPE FRANCIS has been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2013.

The announcement was made on the Today show on American television on Wednesday morning. The recipient is picked by Time’s editors who choose the person they think most influenced the news during the previous 12 months, for good or bad.

According to Catholic News Service, Vatican spokesman

Fr Federico Lombardi said that Pope Francis wasn’t looking for Time’s recognition, but if it gave people hope, then the Pontiff was happy.

In an article explaining the decision, Time described Pope Francis as “septuagenarian superstar” and said “he makes masterly use of 21st-century tools to perform his firstcentury office”.

“What makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the Church at all,” the article said.

In a separate piece, Time’s managing editor Nancy Gibbs wrote that Pope Francis has “placed himself at the very centre of the central conversations of our time” about wealth and poverty, fairness and justice, globalisation and the role of women.

“At a time when the limits of leadership are being tested in so many places, along comes a man with no army or weapons, no kingdom beyond a tight fist of land in the middle of Rome but with the immense wealth and weight of history behind him, to throw down a challenge,” she wrote.

Pope Francis was picked from a shortlist of 10 names that included Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, pop star Miley Cyrus, and whistleblower Edward Snowden. Previous recipients include Blessed John XXIII, Adolf Hitler and Barack Obama.

Francis credits nun with saving his life BY MADELEINE TEAHAN

A NEW BOOK has shed light on the moment when the future Pope Francis’s life was saved by a nun.

In the book I Fioretti di Papa Francesco (“The Little Flowers of Pope Francis”), veteran Vatican reporter Andrea Tornielli quotes Pope Francis as saying: “I am alive thanks to one of them. When I had lung problems in the hospital, the doctor gave me penicillin and antibiotics in small doses.

“The nun who was on the ward tripled that because she had an intuition. She knew what to do, because she was with the ill all day long.

“The doctor, who was very good, spent his time in a laboratory, but the nun was living on the front line and talking with those on the front line every day.”

It is reported that the 21year-old future Pontiff had three cysts on his lung before part of the organ was removed. Mr Tornielli said Pope Francis’s “health is good” today. Adams cartoon: Page 12

Harry Potter actress to star in biblical epic

BY STAFF REPORTER

HARRY POTTER star Emma Watson will feature in a new movie about Noah as part of a fresh wave of biblical films. Watson is to play the role of Ila, Noah’s adoptive daughter.

Noah, due for release in March, features Russell Crowe as the builder of the ark, Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah, and a big floating zoo of computer-generated animals. It is directed by Darren Aronofsky, with Jennifer Connelly as Naameh, Noah’s wife.

Other forthcoming biblical films are The Son of

God, due for release in February, and Mary, in which Odeya Rush takes on the role of

Mary escaping from King Herod (Ben Kingsley) along with St Joseph. Brad Pitt is also due to play the main role in the film Pontius

Pilate which will be in cinemas in 2015. The Redemption of Cain, expected in 2015 and directed by Will Smith, is understood to be a very loose interpretation featuring vampires.

Skip to main content