2009 Beginnings

His Holiness offers the following words to the Wise: The extermination of millions of unborn children, in the name of the fight against poverty, actually constitutes the destruction of the poorest of all human beings. And yet it remains the case that in 1981, around 40% of the world's population was below the threshold of absolute poverty, while today that percentage has been reduced by as much as a half, and whole peoples have escaped from poverty despite experiencing substantial demographic growth. This goes to show that resources to solve the problem of poverty do exist, even in the face of an increasing population. Nor must it be forgotten that, since the end of the Second World War, the world's population has grown by four billion, largely because of certain countries that have recently emerged on the international scene as new economic powers, and have experienced rapid development specifically because of the large number of their inhabitants. Moreover, among the most developed nations, those with higher birth-rates enjoy better opportunities for development. In other words, population is proving to be an asset, not a factor that contributes to poverty.
When poverty strikes a family, the children prove to be the most vulnerable victims: almost half of those living in absolute poverty today are children. To take the side of children when considering poverty means giving priority to those objectives which concern them most directly, such as caring for mothers, commitment to education, access to vaccines, medical care and drinking water, safeguarding the environment, and above all, commitment to defence of the family and the stability of relations within it. When the family is weakened, it is inevitably children who suffer. If the dignity of women and mothers is not protected, it is the children who are affected most.
In today's globalized world, it is increasingly evident that peace can be built only if everyone is assured the possibility of reasonable growth: sooner or later, the distortions produced by unjust systems have to be paid for by everyone. It is utterly foolish to build a luxury home in the midst of desert or decay. Globalization on its own is incapable of building peace, and in many cases, it actually creates divisions and conflicts. If anything it points to a need: to be oriented towards a goal of profound solidarity that seeks the good of each and all.

Today we honor Mary Theotokos, Mary the Mother of God.

God condescended to enter the womb, and in doing so, elevated Motherhood itself. We are very much called to do the same. We have an obligation to foster Peace in our world by nurturing mothers and caring for children as a loving mother would do.

Where are wombs most in jeopardy, most violated? None other than the "womb" of the human race, that continent known as Africa. Our brothers and sisters in Africa are among the most malnourished, most brutalized, and their plight perhaps the most ignored and least discussed.

As for our American brothers and sisters of African descent, they are the most likely to die of abortion than any other population.

Our Lady must be very solemn indeed, this day and every day as she grieves this attack on human life and dignity in the disregard shown to Africa and the residual hatred for people of color. We've watched Somalian starvation, Rwandan slaughter, and Moslem conquest with nary a finger lifted.

Let's begin our solidarity with prayer: Invoke the blessing of Mary Theotokos on Africa, our Mother-land. Pray that God's Peace will reign in that troubled continent. Pray that those who violently promote Islam will seek to honor Miriam by reverencing women and children in Africa, rather than enslaving or raping them.

Let's begin our solidarity with information gathering: learn about AFRICA and its people!

PBS has a good intro page.

Familiarize yourself with the geographical diversity:

{for an interactive map, click here}

Africa is a rainforest sandwiched between deserts. Where it's not rainforest, it's savannah.

Africa is GINORMOUS. Its landmass is four times the size of the United States.

African Empires made possible the success of the Roman Empire. Every empire since, including our current Pax Americana has depended entirely on the abundant mineral resources of this continent.

The primacy of the West was not possible without the subjugation of the people of Africa [just as the comfortable lifestyle choices of Pro-Choice women were not possible without the genocide of black children].

Get to know the people we apparently hate so much.

Again, let us pray~ Mary Theotokos, Queen of Peace, bless the people of Africa!

Mary, who loved God as a Mother, help us lovingly nourish and protect and educate the poor in Africa and the poor in our own communities~

Queen of Peace, help us hold sacred the peace and dignity of lives in the womb, especially those of African descent in our own country, those who are most likely to be killed~

Mother Inviolate, bless all those plagued by AIDS~

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