Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct 1, 2009 / 19:01 pm
The Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, has called for an ethical response to solve the problem of social debt, saying that, not only do terrorism, repression and murder violate human rights, but also extreme poverty and the “unjust economic structures that give rise to great inequalities.”
Social debt is “immoral, unjust and illegitimate,” the cardinal said, emphasizing that this is especially true when it occurs “in a nation that has the objective conditions for avoiding or correcting such harm.” “Unfortunately,” he noted, it seems that those same countries “opt for exacerbating inequalities even more.”
Argentineans have the duty “to work to change the structural causes and personal or corporate attitudes that give rise to this situation (of poverty), and through dialogue reach agreements that allow us to transform this painful reality we refer to when we speak about social debt,” the prelate said.
Cardinal Bergoglio said the challenge to eradicate poverty could not be truthfully met as long as the poor continue to be dependents of the State. The government and other organizations should instead work to create the social conditions that will promote and protect the rights of the poor and enable them to be the builders of their own future, he explained.
The problem of debt and social justice must be of concern to every sector of society, he added, including leaders in government, politics, finance, business, agriculture, industry, unions, the Church and other social organizations.