.- Just after completing the angelus prayer on Sunday, Pope Benedict issued an âurgent appealâ to the Group of Eight industrialized nations to focus their annual meeting on the plight of the âweakest and poorest peoples.â
As the leaders of the G8 nations meet today in Tokyo along with other world leaders, the Holy Father pointed to the chorus of voices calling for answers to the resolutions made by the group previously.
"Over recent days," said Benedict, "many voices have been raised - among them those of the presidents of episcopal conferences in the countries concerned - to call for the implementation of commitments assumed at earlier G8 meetings, and for the courageous adoption of all measures necessary to defeat the scourges of extreme poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy which still affect such a large part of humankind.â
"I too add my voice to this urgent appeal for solidarity!" cried the Pope. "I address myself, then, to participants in the meeting in Hokkaido- Tokyo, that they may focus their deliberations on the needs of the weakest and poorest peoples, whose vulnerability is greater today because of speculation and financial turbulence and their perverse effects on the cost of food and energy. I hope that generosity and farsightedness may help make decisions aimed at re-launching a just process of integral development, in order to safeguard human dignity."