And famine still haunts millions, the Pope tells F.A.O. delegates
SEVEN out of every 10 people In the world go hungry every day, said the Holy Father when on Friday he addressed delegates of the Food and Agricultural Organisation who have been meet ng in Rome.
"The possibility of famine and its awful consequences still haunt millions, and one period of drought is enough to unleash this dreadful scourge."
His Holiness praised the delegates for following Our Lord's teaching in relieving the hunger of the underfed millions and said : "Without exaggeration your work can be called gigantic. You are animated by zeal and nothing tires you."
But the Holy Father emphasised that greater sacrifices are needed from richer nations to avert the terrible threat of famine.
"Despite the improvement in rccent times, the problem of providing food remains crucial for a large part of the human race.
The birth rate
"On the one hand, production increases quickly. levels of consumption are lifted, and exports grow. On the other hand. and especially in the Far East, production remains low, the food available is deficient, and imports arc restricted."
The Pope went on to point out that the birth-rate is all the time adding to the number of mouths to feed without any parallel increase in food production. This is the difficult problem confronting F.A.O. which is now engaged "in a world-wide decisive battle to overcome the sufferings and threats weighing on so many unfortunate people."
Referring to the practical diffi
culties of carrying out its programme, the Pope said: '
"Perhaps the most delicate of these problems is to create social conditions which will enable the workers you are helping to acquire a taste and interest for their job, thus making the most of the resources you provide for them.
"It would be useless to send experts to teach them new methods and to improve their mechanical equipment if the workers' human conditions prevent them from obtaining the fruit of labour which is theirs by right.
"To promote interest and personal initiative, to show that the common good i3 their good too, and not something achieved at their expense, to make sure that this is really the casethere you have the main factor for success."
Reports that a number of priests from the Jesuit seminary at Hong Kong have succeeded in entering Communist China disguised as workers have been described as false by. Fr. J. G. Garland. the Superior.
It was stated in Ireland that more than 100 young priests had entered China.
Fr. Garland said be wished it were true that priests had beets able to re-enter China, but it was not so.