ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II
Friday, 7 October 1983
It is a distinct pleasure for me to welcome those taking part in the International Congress of Science and Technology against Hunger in the World, sponsored by the Italian National Research Council. The topic of your deliberations merits the most careful attention and is truly one of paramount importance for a group of scientists and experts who are committed to international cooperation in the campaign against world hunger.
The study of ways and means to feed the population of this generation and generations yet to come must draw upon the resources of every field of science and technology. It must attack the problem on different fronts in order to arrive at solutions which are both adequate for the present and will meet the demands of the future.
The problem of hunger in the world assumes grave proportions when seen from the point of view of those developing peoples and nations which are desperately seeking to meet basic human needs, but which fail in this pursuit due to the social, economic and political factors arrayed against them. The urgency of this situation demands concerted action, based on both bilateral and multilateral collaboration, and this action presupposes a clear vision of the social and economic aspects of the question, as well as the cultural and spiritual ones.
This is so because the survival of millions of our fellow human beings cannot be reduced to a matter of vested national interests or political expediency. Their survival must be seen rather in its full significance: as the responsibility, the solemn duty of all humanity united in a spirit of fraternal solidarity. This obligation stems from a common brotherhood under the fatherhood of God, and must be expressed in a charity that is universal - a charity that seeks to bring about a world that is “more human towards all people, where all will be able to give and receive, without one group making progress at the expense of the other” (Populorum Progressio, 44).
It is clear that the moral challenges facing those responsible for the technical application of the solutions to the problem of world hunger are immense. They involve acquiring and utilizing all the technological and scientific knowledge available and placing it at the service of man as he fights to arrest the causes and effects of this age-old yet ever increasing problem.
The Church has repeatedly lent her support to initiatives which work for the reduction of hunger in the world. The Holy See in particular follows with lively interest the activities of all international organizations which undertake programmes in this regard. I wish to offer you the assurance of my own encouragement for this noble goal which you pursue. I do so because by your working to eliminate hunger you are also making the world a more human place in which to live; you are helping to build a world where every person can live a more fully human life, a life based on that common dignity which is in keeping with the nature given to us by the Creator.
May your efforts to banish hunger from the world be crowned with success, as you labour on behalf of the whole human family.
© Copyright 1983 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana