The Holy See’s Press Office revealed today that Pope Benedict has chosen the theme, "Combating poverty. Building peace" for the celebration of the 42nd World Day of Peace. The observance of the day will be held on January 1, 2009.
The Holy Father picked the theme because it "highlights the need for the human family to find an urgent response to the serious question of poverty, seen as a material problem but above all as a moral and spiritual one,” a communiqué on the event says.
This is not the first time that the Pope has spoken out necessity of quickly remedying the scourge of poverty. In a message to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization on June 2, the Holy Father said: "Poverty and malnutrition are not a simple fatality, provoked by adverse environmental situations or by disastrous natural calamities. ... Purely technical and economic considerations must not prevail over the duties of justice towards people suffering from hunger."
"The scandal of poverty,” the communiqué continues, “reveals the inadequacy of current systems of human coexistence in promoting the realization of the common good. This imposes the need for reflection on the deep roots of material poverty and, consequently, also on spiritual poverty which makes man indifferent to the suffering of others.”
“The answer, then, is to be sought first and foremost in the conversion of the human heart to the God of charity, so as to achieve poverty of spirit in the terms of the Message of salvation announced by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven," according to the release.