Manila, Philippines, Jan 21, 2015 / 17:18 pm
According to the Vatican's Observer to the United Nations, Pope Francis is likely to address the issue of poverty before the international body, a speech that is anticipated in the proposed schedule for his upcoming US trip.
Archbishop Bernardito Auza, a native of the Philippines, is the Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York, and also part of Pope Francis's U.S. trip organizing committee.
He shared with CNA Jan. 18 in the Philippines that "he had met with the Pope three times" since he was appointed as Permanent Observer in July, 2014, and that Pope Francis "had mostly spoken about the poor."
"I had a one hour conversation with the Holy Father last December, and it was all about aid. He had so much interest in aid, as well as in identifying all the aspects of poverty – from history to attitudes of people with respect to actual situations," Archbishop Auza recounted.
The archbishop explained that the Pope has always showed him his interest in the cause of the poor, both during the meetings they had in the Vatican and "now here in Manila, and we are speaking again of poverty and school systems, and again it will be so at the UN."
Archbishop Auza had also revealed to CNA that Pope Francis' speech to the United Nations headquarters in New York may take place Sept. 25. While speaking to CNA he referred to a Jan. 12 meeting held by the U.S. trip organizing committee, during which details of the visit were discussed.
September 25, Archbishop Auza noted, is also the opening of the three-day Post-2015 Sustainable Development Summit, and so many world leaders will be at the United Nations.
According to Archbishop Auza, the core of Pope Francis' teaching is attention to the poor, and the attempt to answer the question: why are so many people abandoned?
"This is the primary message of the Pope, which is also contained in the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium … and this is also our message to the United Nations," Archbishop Auza maintained.
The Holy See Permanent Observer underscored that "we have this economic model that undoubtedly generates wealth, but it generates it in a way that most of the people are left behind."
So we should not "leave the blind forces of the market alone without our intervention," he maintained.
Archbishop Auza identified the Pope's message to the Philippines with a few core issues: "corruption, poverty, people left behind, market forces."
However, he stressed that "poverty is certainly a very complex question" and he supposed "the Pope will talk about that in the United Nations," also given that the speech will come at the beginning of the Sustainable Devolpment Summit and that "poverty is one of the main preoccupations" of the countries involved.