Money alone will not transform the lives of the poor in developing nations, the head of Caritas Japan has told an international forum in Seoul.
“Transferring financial resources from developed countries to developing countries by itself cannot bring about drastic changes in people’s lives at the grassroots level, Bishop Tarcisius Kikuchi Isao of Niigata, Japan, told the Second Seoul Pax Forum on Nov. 5-6.
“Therefore, the concept of human development should be considered as the priority,” Bishop Kikuchi said in his keynote address to the conference, which was organized by the Catholic Education Forum at Seoul’s St. Mary’s Hospital.
The forum explores issues and situations that are common to Asian countries and seeks ways of mutual exchange and cooperation. It was established last year to provide educational and medical support in Asia.
Bishop Kikuchi, who is president of Caritas Japan, told the forum that people must be empowered in order to foster peace in Asia.Politically and economically advanced countries of Asia must support this process, he said.
In another address, Francis Lee Dae-hoon, guest professor at the Anglican Sungkonghoe University in Korea, urged the promotion of solidarity in order to build a peace culture.“For peace in Asia, religious and educational groups together with other NGOs and the media must promote solidarity,” Professor Lee said.
“Through exchange and cooperation for the restoration of the value of peace, these groups need to reconfirm the abundant culture of peace in Asia,” he added.
Earlier, in a welcome address to the forum, Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk of Seoul also urged the practice of solidarity. “Solidarity is a virtue of Jesus Christ,” Cardinal Cheong said. “When we build solidarity for the practice of love, Jesus will stay with us.” “Poverty in Asia does not come from a shortage of resources but from a lack of sharing,” he continued.“By recalling the sense of solidarity of the early Christian communities, we should give love and hope to people through fellowship,” Cardinal Cheong concluded.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is the domestic anti-poverty, social justice program of the U.S. Catholic bishops. Its mission is to address the root causes of poverty in America through promotion and support of community-controlled, self-help organizations and through transformative education.
On an international level, Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We are motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, foster charity and justice, and embody Catholic social and moral teaching as we act to: Promote human development by responding to major emergencies, fighting disease and poverty, and nurturing peaceful and just societies; and, Serve Catholics in the United States as they live their faith in solidarity with their brothers and sisters around the world.