BACKWARD peoples could explode in an "ungovernable rage" unless developed nations did more to help raise their living standards, said Pope Paul on Tuesday.
While there was plenty of talk about peace, words alone were not enough to stem the armed conflicts which were "increasing frighteningly" in the world.
Addressing the College of Cardinals on the state of the Church at the end of seven years of his pontificate, the Pope said: "There rises from the Third World a cry for help, and trusting expectation is turning into terrible denunciation, which could explode in an ungovernable rage whose consequences would be lethal for peace and true progress."
He realised that the developed nations could not accept without question every claim made against them, but he called for more effective measures to be taken by international bodies, including the Catholic Church, in solving the growing imbalance between rich and poor. Fine words alone, he added, could not ensure peace nor could they fool young people who saw that in spite of so many speeches—for everyone was in agreement talking about peace — armed conflicts were increasing frighteningly like a patch of oil spreading inexorably towards a flame.
"As a result of war every day there are people dying in the world through violence which is blind, silly and insidious, through vengeful and malicious reprisals, and through the resulting terrible lack of insecurity and food."
On Church affairs, Pope Paul said he was encouraged by the growing co-operation between national conferences of bishops and the Vatican, by progress on a revision of the Church's code of laws and by better relations with both nonCatholics and non-Christians.
Owing to printing difficulties beyond our control, we regret that this week's Catholic Herald has had to he reduced to eight pages.