The Dicastery for Integral Human Development, together with the Vatican Commission Covid-19, publishes a video that brings together some of the Pope’s invitations and appeals to the international community, to eradicate the causes of hunger and protect the dignity of people and the planet
A mosaic discourse from which the appeal every time is derived: hunger in the world is everyone’s problem, defeating it is a planetary moral imperative and yet it will never be a truly achievable goal if the fight against hunger does not also include protection of the environment and especially if the “human family” will continue to have children and stepchildren, people with too much food available and many more with empty bellies. What appears in the video produced by the Dicastery for Integral Human Development and the Vatican Commission Covid-19, released in these days of the UN pre-summit on food systems, which ends today, is a compendium of the Pope’s teaching on the subject.
Producing and consuming differently
The editing of the video proposes in sequence excerpts from various papal interventions over the years, but what is most striking is the fluidity that makes them seem considerations of a single discourse, a demonstration of the consistency with which Francis has addressed the knots of a complex question such as that of changing food systems. It was November 2014 when he stated in the FAO headquarters that “the right to food will be guaranteed only if we are concerned with its real subject, that is, the person who suffers the effects of hunger and malnutrition”. With the consequence, he says, of being called – but here the concept expressed is from 2017, again in the FAO headquarters – “to propose a change in lifestyle, in the use of resources, in production criteria and also in consumption”.
The torment of missing food
For the Pope, therefore, “it is not enough to produce food, but it is also important to ensure that food systems are sustainable and offer healthy diets accessible to all” ( message for Food Day 2020) and here comes a quote from John Paul II and his “paradox of abundance ” enunciated in ’92 at the International Conference on Nutrition, a paradox for which – Francis summarizes – “there is food for everyone, but not everyone can eat ( video message for the Expo of ideas – February 2015 ) . And dying of hunger is one of the worst ways of being stripped of dignity: “How many mothers and how many fathers still today – Francis asked himself at the general audience on March 27, 2019 – they go to sleep with the torment of not having enough bread for their children the next day! ”
Taking care is the change of road
The video concludes with appeal phrases, where Francis remembers that “our poorest brothers and our mother earth groan for the damage and injustice we have caused and demand another route. They demand from us a conversion, a change of path: to also take care of the earth, of creation ”. ( general audience September 16, 2020 ). This is followed by a prayer that in a certain way expands a passage from the Our Father – “Father, grant that for us and for everyone, today there is the necessary bread”. E ‘pane’ also stands for water, medicine, home, work … Asking what is necessary to live. (general audience March 27, 2019) , to conclude with the slogan of the Campaign launched by Caritas in 2013 and which Francis, Pope for a few months, makes his own in the cold of a general audience of December 2013 : “One human family, food for all”.
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