by Frances Correia

“Greater attention must be given to the needs of the poor, the weak and the vulnerable, in a debate often dominated by more powerful interests.” (United States Catholic Bishops’ Conference)

The foreign debt of poor countries has become a way of controlling them, yet this is not the case where ecological debt is concerned. In different ways, developing countries, where the most important reserves of the biosphere are found, continue to fuel the development of richer countries at the cost of their own present and future. The land of the southern poor is rich and mostly unpolluted, yet access to ownership of goods and resources for meeting vital needs is inhibited by a system of commercial relations and ownership which is structurally perverse. The developed countries ought to help pay this debt by significantly limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy and by assisting poorer countries to support policies and programmes of sustainable development. The poorest areas and countries are less capable of adopting new models for reducing environmental impact because they lack the wherewithal to develop the necessary processes and to cover their costs. We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference. (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, n.52)

Lord
we pray for the grace of solidarity with the poor and most vulnerable on our planet.
Help us to be aware of their needs, and to have them in the forefront of our minds as we plan and act for the common good.

Amen.