Caritas International has expressed its hope that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s visit with Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday will inspire him and other G8 leaders to become newly dedicated to solidarity for the poor amidst the global economic crisis.
In a press release, the secretary general of Caritas International, Lesley-Anne Knight, said “Caritas hopes that the inspiration of Pope Benedict XVI will act as a reminder to the leaders of the world about the fact that the poor do not have to be excluded from the plans to rescue the world economy. Leaders should resist national pressure and show genuine leadership in order to convince voters that to help the poor is not only a positive choice but a moral responsibility.”
Caritas warned against “populist actions” that neglect the 100 million people in the least developed nations of the world who live in absolute poverty.
Knight said, “2009 will determine what kind of world we live in when the economic crisis has passed.”
“The leaders of the world do not have to use the financial problems as an excuse to cut off aid, but rather as an opportunity to reform globalization in a greater effort for development and justice. When 70% of your financing for health care services comes from foreign donations, as is the case with many African countries, cutting off aid could cost lives,” Knight stated.