Cardinal Cormac tells summit: 'poverty is as big a scourge as terrorism'

 Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, today told a Treasury summit on globalization, that poverty is as big a scourge as terrorism. Cardinal Cormac told the key meeting, which was also addressed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, World Bank President James Wolfensohn, Brazil's President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and CAFOD's director Chris Bain, that: "we may be at risk of getting our definitions and our priorities wrong". The Treasury Development Conference involved senior representatives of Government, international financial institutions, Non-Governmental Organisations and faith communities. The Cardinal said: "States fail when they are incapable of lifting people out of poverty, or when they pay insufficient heed to the importance of ensuring that wealth is adequately distributed so that the whole of the population can flourish; or, indeed, when they fail to take seriously the obligation to ensure that wealth is not created for the few and at the expense of the many. "The greatest scandal and scourge of humankind is, in fact, dire poverty and the misery and exploitation that accompanies and exacerbates it. That is the real scandal, and we are together in this room because there is a genuine recognition that this is the big issue for our times. I think we recognise that there is no excuse for failing to face up to the enormous, indeed the truly global, responsibility that we bear for the well-being of the whole of humankind. Our actions really do affect other people, including people in far away places." He added: "I am here to express my wholehearted support for one specific initiative, the International Finance Facility. I believe that the IFF is a bold and exciting opportunity to make a very big difference between now and 2015, and thereafter. The Chancellor, Gordon Brown, came to see me last summer, as I am sure he has been to see many of you! We have an opportunity to begin something profoundly radical, and I do not think we should pass up that opportunity. "In November of last year, the Holy Father, Pope John Paul, endorsed the IFF and the Vatican offered to host a seminar this year - rather like this one, but with a more international flavour to see whether we can contribute to forging a common and global moral and political consensus behind the IFF as a means to the ends which the UN set for the international community in 2000. "Last week I was in Rome discussing dates with Cardinal Martinom, head of the Vatican Council for Justice and Peace. I hope that within a matter of days we will be discussing with the Treasury the details of a seminar in the first week of July which will bring together representatives of donor and recipient countries, international financial institutions, NGOs and faith communities." Cardinal Cormac concluded: "Our greatest challenge at the beginning of the 21st century is poverty. Our greatest debt is the debt to our brothers and sisters in the poorest parts of the world. Our greatest hope is our common humanity and solidarity. And our greatest strength is our commitment to work together. I would like to think we can all take that message back to our communities, our institutions and our governments and get the backing we need, especially, and in particular, for the IFF." Source: CCS

Share this story