The director of Trocaire, Justin Kilcullen, has welcomed the release of Caritas in Veriate, the new social encyclical from Pope Benedict XVI.

Trocaire Director Justin Kilcullen pictured at launch of the 2008 Kildare & Leighlin REACH OUT campaign which featured gits sourced directly from Bethlehem

Justin Kilcullen, Trocaire Director

Trocaire welcomes this important encyclical from Pope Benedict, which has been anxiously anticipated for the past two years. It will guide our work as we endeavour to deal with the changing economic, social and political realities of our time.

Since the last encyclical on a similar issue, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, from Pope John Paul II in 1989 the phenomenon of globalisation has dominated the worlds economy, while issues of the environment and climate change have also become a global reality.

The encyclical holds steadfast to the principles of working for the common good and challenges the dominating financial and economic structures that have been found so wanting. Justice must be applied to every phase of economic activity.. every economic decision has a moral consequence.

The right to food, like the right to water, has an important place within the pursuit of other rights, highlighting Pope Benedicts assertion that extreme poverty goes against the principles of human rights.

It is encouraging to see Pope Benedict reaffirm the need for poorer countries to be the drivers of their own development, recognising the obstacles laid down by developed countries fuelled by self interest and protectionism to ensure that the redistribution of wealth does not come about through the redistribution or increase of poverty

Pope Benedict emphasises the impact of the environment on global issues Today the subject of development is also closely related to the duties arising from our relationship to the natural environment. The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole.

His call for a new form of global governance seems to be the ultimate challenge of the encyclical ‘a political and economic order which can increase and give direction to international cooperation for the development of all peoples in solidarity. To manage the global economy: to review economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment.. for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority.

As we rebuild our societies Pope Benedict, highlights the possibility of a new world order with humankind at its heart.

The encyclical is a profound commentary on the world and will need time and reflection to understand its depth and apply it to our world. Pope Benedict has re-affirmed the challenges set out by Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II to re-establish the family at the centre or our world.