Before leaving for his summer vacation in the Italian Alps, Pope John Paul II made a powerful appeal to rich countries who begin their G8 summit in Genoa, Italy, on 21 July. Speaking before the Angelus in St Peter's Square, on Sunday, the Pope said the rich countries must hear the cry of the poor. The universal allocation of the goods of the earth is a cornerstone of the social doctrine of the Church, he said. Repeating the words of his homily to Youth 2000 in Rome last summer, the Pope said: "I told them you must not be resigned to a world in which others die of hunger, are illiterate, or lack work. You must defend life in every moment of its earthly development, and make energetic efforts to render this earth increasingly habitable for all." Calling for the urgent need for a new morality, the Pope said, faith does not allow Christians to be indifferent. It urges Christians to challenge those responsible for politics and economics, and demands that globalization is firmly governed by motives for the common good of all, based on the absolute demands of justice and solidarity. Above all, the Pope said, he called on Christians to pray for those in power, and work together to build a better world. It was the duty of every Christian, he said, "to prepare themselves with a strong moral and spiritual education, with in-depth knowledge of the Church's social doctrine, and with great love for Jesus Christ, redeemer of every man and of the whole man." The Pope concluded by expressing his confidence that Italy would show generous hospitality to those coming to Genoa for the convention. He said: "Let us ask the Most Holy Virgin to infuse sentiments of peace and solidarity in the heart of each one, so that the forthcoming meeting will end in favorable decisions for the real good of the whole of humanity." For the full text, visit the Vatican website through our Links pages.
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