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Vatican Information Service

POPE ISSUES STRONG APPEAL FOR SOLIDARITY WITH WORLD'S POOR

EIGHTH YEAR - N.160 -- MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1998

VATICAN CITY, SEP 27, 1998 (VIS) - Prior to reciting the angelus at Castelgandolfo, the last before returning to Rome tomorrow, Pope John Paul recalled today's liturgical commemoration of St. Vincent de Paul, patron of charitable associations, and made a strong appeal for solidarity with the massive numbers of poor people in the world.

He drew the faithful's attention to "one of the great challenges which confronts our conscience: the truly intolerable contrast between that portion of mankind which enjoys every advantage of economic well-being and scientific progress and the enormous masses of those who live in conditions of extreme need."

He added that, "in the strident contrast between the indifferent rich and the poor who need everything, God is on the side of the latter. It is not licit to resign ourselves to the immoral spectacle of a world in which there are still those who die of hunger, who do not have a home, who lack even the most basic education, who do not have the necessary help when they are ill, who cannot find work."

"It is urgent to promote a culture and policies of solidarity," stated John Paul II. "Certainly, looking at the complexity of the problems, personal commitment is not enough. For several problems, such as that of the international debt of poor countries, there is need for a concerted answer on the part of the community of nations."

Following the angelus prayer, the Pope had greetings in five languages for the pilgrims present.

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