Pope calls for combating global hunger, loyalty of Chinese Catholics

May 25th, 2008 - 6:13 pm ICT by admin  

Vatican City, May 25 (DPA) Pope Benedict XVI Sunday implored the international community to do more to combat world hunger and appealed to Chinese Catholics to remain loyal to the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. Christians cannot “remain indifferent before those who don’t have their daily bread,” Benedict told thousands of people gathered in St Peter’s Square for his Sunday Angelus blessing.

Hunger “is a growing problem which the international community is showing great difficulty in solving,” the pontiff said.

His remarks came just over a week before world leaders are scheduled to arrive in Rome for a June 3-5 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) conference on the challenges posed by climate change and bio-energy on global food security.

Turning to China, Benedict mentioned the “difficulties” faced by Catholics in the Communist-ruled country who are split between those secretly loyal to the Vatican and those who follow the teachings of a state-sanctioned church.

“Together with you, I pray to Mary… our Lady of Sheshan to help those in China, who through daily hardships, continue to believe, hope and love, that they may never be afraid of speaking about Jesus,” Benedict said.

He was referring to a Catholic shrine in Sheshan, near Shanghai, dedicated to Jesus’ mother, Mary.

The pope then greeted a group of Chinese pilgrims present in St Peter’s Square.

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