BY Stephen Edwardson | June 5 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

4-POPE-GEN-AUDIENCE

Pope faults wasteful developed world

Ahead of G8 summit in Belfast, Holy Father says our consumerist society throws away food and people

Pope Francis focused on the ‘culture of waste’ that had developed within several first world countries at his general audience in the Vatican City this morning.

The Pope told the audience (above) that he felt that the world was becoming a consumerist society and compared throwing away food to stealing from the poor and disregarding people as treating them as rubbish.

“Our grandparents used to make a point of not throwing away leftover food,” he said on World Environment Day. “Consumerism has made us accustomed to wasting food daily and we are unable to see it’s real value.”

Fighting poverty has been an issue that the Pope is keen to take up and he has spoken about it often since becoming Pontiff in March. He wants the Catholic Church to band together and fight off poverty.

According to the United Nations food agency, 1.3 billion tonnes of food or a third of food that is produced for consumption gets lost or wasted every year.

People are disregarded as if they were garbage.

Pope Francis said he was disgusted by this ‘culture of waste’ due to the prevalence of hunger in the world at the moment. Again according to the United Nations, over 870 million people were affected by hunger, while a further 2 billion people suffer from a nutritional deficiency.

The Pontiff urged people to focus less on materialism and more on human life. Pope Francis felt that there was too much focus on the ‘tragedy’ of financial market dips, while human suffering was being undermined and ignored.

“In this way people are disregarded as if they were garbage,” he said.

In related news, bishops throughout the world have echoed the message of the Enough Food for Everyone IF… campaign, backed by SCIAF, by asking leaders of the G8 nations to consider the needs of the poor in developing countries across the globe.

The G8 nations are planning to meet for their 2013 summit in Belfast later this month.

The bishops who signed a letter petitioning the G8 leaders encouraged the national leaders to work in their upcoming meeting to ‘take steps to improve nutrition, reduce hunger and poverty, and strengthen just tax, trade and transparency policies for the common good of all.’

The bishops who lent their support include members of the hierarchies in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US.

 

—For more information on the IF… campaign, SCIAF’s involvement and how to take part, click here.

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