Pope Francis again critiqued the global market system Thursday, telling delegates to a U.N.-sponsored meeting on nutrition that the struggle to eradicate global hunger is hindered by how the market prices foods necessary for life.
Speaking to a meeting of the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, the pontiff said today, there is "much talk of rights, frequently neglecting duties" and that "perhaps we have paid too little heed to those who are hungry."
Within weeks, the Vatican said in a statement Thursday, bishops' conferences around the world will be receiving preparatory documents for the 2015 synod.
"These are matters that affect all families ... We want to focus next year not just on the neuralgic sexual issues that seem to dominate the American media."
In what the Vatican bank described as recognition that it has established serious measures to prevent money laundering, it announced the Italian government has promised to return 23 million euros (U.S. $29 million) that had been blocked for more than three years.
Even though the Italian government in 2011 said it was releasing the funds, the Italians believed "issues regarding customer due diligence remained unsolved" and so held on to the funds, said a statement Tuesday from the Institute for the Works of Religion, the formal name of what is commonly called the Vatican bank.
All Christians are called to holiness and to take even little steps each day to be more loving and more Christ-like, Pope Francis said.
"Some think that holiness is closing your eyes and making the face of a plastic statue, but that's not holiness," the pope said Wednesday at his weekly general audience.
Holiness is something much greater, much more profound than looking like an image on a holy card, he said. "It is living with love and offering your own Christian witness in your daily tasks."
Just Catholic: Women and war were not on the bishops' agenda. The USCCB crowd seems to be stopping and starting, blinking and staring, like peacocks in the headlights.
Pope's quotes: Some of our favorite quotes from Pope Francis.
NCR Today: Marriage, family conference continues at Vatican; Cupich installed as Chicago archbishop; global terror attacks rose sharply in 2013; Mexico's holy war against the cartels
NCR Today: Blase Cupich's concelebration choice is noteworthy -- he paid public respect to a mentor while perhaps describing the kind of bishop he would like to be.