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World Day of the Poor: Germany, message of bishops. “Peace, good government and fair politics needed”

“Poverty is present in Germany, too, one of the richest countries in the world; we are concerned that almost one person out of five in our country is suffering from poverty, or risking to become poor”. Those words were taken from the message by three German bishops – Presidents of the Pastoral Commission Msgr. Franz-Josef Bode (Osnabrück), of the Church in the World Commission Msgr. Ludwig Schick (Bamberg), and of the Charity Commission Msgr. Stephan Burger (Freiburg) – issued on the World Day of the Poor. The bishops wish for “politics and society” “to be resolute in opposing poverty”, ask Christians “to look for the poor without waiting for them to come”. “Too often, we are far from the poor, or we behave like distributors of charity instead of meeting them and look at them in the eyes”. It is a world day “for Catholics all over the world, an opportunity to push our looks over the borders of Germany and Europe”. The message recalls that “peace, good government, fair economic and trade policies are necessary to reduce poverty”, together with criticism on “where our wealth is generated”, how “to distribute the goods of this land in a fairer way”, or how to change “conscience and behaviour”. For this reason, the World Day of the Poor is a “chance to review our consumer habits”, choosing a “real culture of meeting”.

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