.- During yesterday’s Angelus, Pope John Paul II spoke of the application of charity in regard to the relationship between rich countries and poor ones as he pointed to Sunday’s Gospel parable of "the rich man who lived in opulence and did not care for the beggar lying outside his door and starving.” “But after death, the situation was reversed,” said the Pope to the faithful gathered in the courtyard of Castelgandolfo, “Lazarus was welcomed into paradise whereas the rich men lived in torment."
The Pope decried the imbalance between the rich and poor of the world and said that "the lesson learned from this parable is clear: every person must make use of their own goods in an unselfish way, showing solidarity."
The Holy Father said that the Gospel was timely since "in recent days there was an important meeting in New York of heads of State and government for a more efficacious and united action against hunger and poverty. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, spoke at the meeting, expressing the Holy See's adherence to this initiative."
"The Catholic Church," the Pope stated, "assures everyone of its commitment to uproot from the world the scourge of hunger and the other consequences of this miserable state. In this context, I am pleased to remind you of the meeting in recent days in the Vatican of the apostolic nuncios in Africa."
"Let us pray that the Lord sustains such efforts of the international community for justice and solidarity in development. This is, in fact, the path that will guarantee the world a future of peace," he said.
The Pope noted at the end of his audience that on Monday September 27 the Church celebrates the memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, apostle of charity.
He also noted that September 30 is World Maritime Day and said that his "thoughts go to all who work at sea and I pray they may be able to live with dignity and security."