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Pope Francis has given a huge boost to Caritas Internationalis (CI) by personally endorsing its worldwide campaign to end the “global scandal” of hunger by the year 2025.
“I am happy to announce to you the launch of a campaign against global hunger by our very own Caritas Internationalis and to tell you I intend to give my full support,” the Pope says in a four-and-a-half-minute video message for Tuesday’s start of the effort.
The personal endorsement was seen as a sort of rehabilitation of Caritas which, in the previous pontificate, was harshly criticised for being more focused on social programmes than the Gospel.
“This confederation, together with its 164 member organisations, works in 200 countries and territories around the world; its work is at the heart of the mission of the Church and her attention to all those who suffer because of the scandal of hunger,” the Pope says in the Italian-language video.
“We cannot look the other way and pretend this does not exist,” he says in the video. Denouncing the “global scandal” of nearly a billion people who today suffer from hunger, the Pope maintains there’s enough food in the world to feed everyone if we so choose. He added that people should waste less food.
“One Human Family, Food for All” marks the first time the Caritas confederation has launched such a global campaign. It includes a “wave of prayer” that will begin in the Pacific island of Samoa and cross every continent.
CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network), the social action arm of the Church in England and Wales, will take part in the “wave of prayer” and has called upon the Catholic community to reflect on the issue of food poverty and support those charities working to alleviate it.