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My predecessor of venerated memory, Pope Paul VI, on the 26th of March 1969, at the end of the second anniversary of his Encyclical Populorum Progressio, instituted a Fund to help the poor campesinos and to promote agrarian reform, social justice and peace in Latin America, according to the guidelines given by the Bishops of this Continent.

In this year, in which we celebrate the Fifth Centenary of the beginning of the Evangelization of the American Continent and the meeting of the IV General Assembly of the Latin American Bishops, I wish to place emphasis on these events with the institution, in the Vatican City State, of a Pious Autonomous Foundation for the purpose of promoting the integral development of the communities of the poorest campesinos of Latin America. This is to be a gesture of the loving solidarity of the Church towards the most abandoned and those most in need of protection, such as the indigenous peoples, peoples of mixed racial backgrounds, and Afro-Americans, in order also to continue, in this way, the initiative of my August Predecessor.

The Foundation is aimed towards collaborating with all those who, conscious of the suffering condition of the Latin American peoples, wish to contribute to their integral development, according to a just and appropriate application of the social teaching of the Church. To this end, and in virtue of my supreme apostolic authority in the Church and of my sovereignty in the Vatican City State, according to canons 331, 114 §§ 1 and 2, 115 § 3, 116 § 1, of the Code of Canon Law, and art. 1 of the fundamental Law of the Vatican City State of 7 June 1929, and art. 1, letter a) of the Law on sources of rights of 7 June 1929, II, I establish the Autonomous Foundation "Populorum Progressio" as a public canonical juridical person and as a civil juridical person, with its seat in Vatican City State. This Foundation is to be a sign and testimony of the Christian desire for fellowship and authentic solidarity. The Foundation will be governed by the canonical Laws and by civil laws in effect in the Vatican City and by the annexed Statutes which I now approve.

Vatican City, February 13, 1992.




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