Pope's new book accuses rich nations of plundering Africa

 In his first book as pope, Benedict XVI criticises rich countries for having "plundered and sacked" Africa and other poor regions of the world. Rich countries bent on power and profit have also exported to them the "cynicism of a world without God", he writes, according to a Reuters report. A section of the book was reprinted in Wednesday's issue of the Italian daily, Corriere Della Sera. The 400-page book, entitled 'Jesus of Nazareth', is due to be published on April 16, Benedict,s 80th birthday, in Italian, German and Polish. The Pope offers a modern application of Jesus's parable of the Good Samaritan, who stopped to help a man who had been robbed by thieves when others, including a priest, had not. "The current relevance of the parable is obvious," he writes. "If we apply it to the dimensions of globalised society today, we see how the populations of Africa have been plundered and sacked and this concerns us intimately." He draws a link between the lifestyle of people in the developed world and the dire conditions of people in Africa. "We see how our lifestyle, the history that involved us, has stripped them naked and continues to strip them naked," he writes. Pope Benedict, who has condemned the effects of colonialism before, says rich countries had also hurt poor countries spiritually by belittling or trying to wipe out their own cultural and spiritual traditions. He said his comments also apply to other regions besides Africa. The Holy Father also condemns drug trafficking and sexual tourism, saying they are signs of a world brimming with "people who are empty" yet living among abundant material goods. Source: CISA