Is the Vatican doing all it can to alleviate world hunger and poverty?

Can the Vatican use more of its influence to help alleviate world hunger. With all the attention on abortion, I wonder if world hunger and poverty is getting overlooked?

There will always be the poor.

Besides what makes you think the Vatican isn’t doing enough to help world hunger?

Finally, do you find it ok for the Western world to be in unison that the unborn are worthless tissue, that it’s ok for the unwanted to be aborted whether it is a child conceived through rape, born with a deficiency, or simply not economically possible at that time?

Because with the Catholic Church shutting up about abortion you’d find a much weaker pro-life movement worldwide.

I read once that the Catholic Church donates more money than any other church in the world (I don’t remember if it was all churches combined or if it was all seperate). And I agree with Uriah_Betrayed. Abortion is a terrible thing in this world that must be stopped.

In what way do you mean? Do you mean that the Vatican could spend more of its budget on alleviating hunger? Or do you mean that the Vatican could do a better job at encouraging vocations for priests and Religious sisters and brothers and others to do missionary work in poor nations?

With all the attention on abortion, I wonder if world hunger and poverty is getting overlooked?

Has there been ANY particular attention to the issue of abortion from the Vatican recently? I was kinda of the opinion that the Church has neglected this important issue, focusing very little recent attention on it (but PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong). Meanwhile, the mission of the Church to poor nations continues without interruption. The Catholic faithful are regularly asked (from the pulpit) to contribute financially and prayerfully to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, but I cannot remember EVER being asked (from the pulpit) to make such a contribution with regard to the cause of abortion. IS there even such a thing as a “Campaign for Life” (comparable to the Campaign for Human Development) which has been established by the Catholic Bishops? I am not aware of any such ministry.

I would argue that the Church does not give ENOUGH attention to the routine murder of innocent unborn children.

How is that “The Vatican’s” problem?

Uhm… the Vatican and CC is itself run by donations from the laity. It does what it does best which is to guide the flock.

“But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise, and walk.” (Acts 3:6)

The Vatican itself is dedicated to the administrative operation of the universal Church itself and has a very small working budget. The Vatican isn’t the agency you want to be concerned with here when it comes to works of charity.

Rather, there are organizations approved by the Church which operate various missions dedicated to helping the poor and hungry, and evangelization. Such organizations as Catholic Charities, CNEWA, etc. These all operate on donations from the faithful, so the best thing anyone can do to directly help the poor is to choose one of these charities and donate generously to it. These disparate organizations together fulfill the Church’s mission to help the poor and hungry throughout the world, and it is often said that the Catholic Church devotes more resources to these causes than any other religion in the world.

The focus on abortion by Catholic leaders is a doctrinal position which doesn’t appropriate resources from other doctrinal positions in order to advance itself. The resources of the Catholic faithful are such that we can launch attacks on many injustices in the world at one time and still have energy to spare. While we will always have the poor with us, legalized abortion is a relatively new and menacing addition to modern society that can and will be reversed with legal avenues. If you would rather help the poor and the hungry with your money, then donate to some of the aforementioned charities whose mission is to help them. I wouldn’t worry overmuch about the focus being taken off a truly important cause, just because there is another truly important cause on the horizon.

Somebody needs to take the initiative to create a “collection basket” that gets passes around to richer nations.

World hunger is a political question. Developed countries prefer to deal with impoverished nations to lend money to, as they get a higher interest rate. They also get their minerals cheaper by ensuring their own companies exploit the local reserves of oil, ores, fish, etc… O.K., so this involves corruption at a massive level, and enforced poverty on millions of people, but, hey, something gotta keep western concumerism going (mind you, I do believe the chinese are now giving the west a good run for its money).

I willing to bet that, Globally, Catholicism does more to promote humanity’s well being than any other organisation. The promotion of ‘womens reproductive rights’ by the west will eventually cause a demographic crisis in many parts of the world… Lots of empty space for us to grab!

Catholicism is the only body working against this - reasons to be hated at home, and our being persecuted abroad ignored.

How can you justify having internet access while people starve, Robert?

That really doesn’t work. States don’t give unless they get something. Aid of this type always has strings attached to it and states are loath to give something away without having some control over it. Getting states to volunteer aid without strings on it or control over it would take a fundamental change in how states operate and how global politics operate.

Asking if the “Vatican” should do more is like asking should the “govt.” do more. I think we would do better in both instances if “WE” did more.

Feeding the hungry is one of the corporal works of mercy, and all Christians should engage in such a ministry in one form or another (as the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats teaches). In light of this, all dioceses (including Rome) have formal programs in place to feed the poor. Consider also Catholic Relief Services with was collectively created by all the dioceses in the U.S. Every parish in the country takes up a collection for C.R.S. each year, and there are other fundraising projects associated with it as well (such as Operation Rice Bowl which takes place each Lent). C.R.S. is one of the largest and highest rated charity organizations in the world, and they help those in need in many different ways. To learn more about what the C.R.S. does specifically to address world hunger, please visit this link.

In terms of what the Vatican specifically does, the Peter’s Pence collection (which is taken up in every parish throughout the world and brings in several millions of dollars each year) is used by the pope for various charitable purposes (and I’m sure that a lot of it is used to address world hunger).

The Church does give enough attention but the problem was clearly stated by a priest on Catholic Radio: “We cannot do all of this by ourselves.” The laity are being called to help. And let’s not overlook the media’s constant praise for abortion, which can make one think not enough is being done.

The media, in general, has an anti-Christian bias.


Is that the job of the Church? Or is it the job of the Church to proclaim the Gospel and save souls?

You can say the same thing about abortion.

The Church does much about abortion and poverty. The greatest poverty however is the poverty of the spirit and the absence of the Gospel and the knowledge of God’s truth. The Church seeks to end that poverty more than any other kind of poverty.

Job one for the Catholic Church is spreading the Gospel. Next, as Jesus told us, we must help the least among us since, by doing so, we do it to Him.

Also see:


This is perhaps the time to point out that, although the Church has a heirarchical structure, it is NOT fundamentally a giant corporation with the Pope as CEO, cardinals as VPs, and bishops as middle management who carry out orders from above.

Broadly speaking, there is no such thing “World hunger and poverty”. There is local hunger and local poverty, in every nation on Earth. It’s impossible for a centralized authority to take a top-down approach, because the situation & solutions are different in every single place. The Church (meaning not just the ordained bishops, but the lay people as well) can be much more effective using people & groups such as religious orders that are already on the ground to identify problems, set priorities, and manage resources as appropriate for each location.

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”

~~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta

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