human development, social justice and sustainable social systems

November-18: Theology of poverty

Welcome to the new Faith and Action!

…May all of us feel that we are in debt to the poor, because, in hands outstretched to one another, a salvific encounter can take place to strengthen our faith, inspire our charity and enable our hope to advance securely on our path towards the Lord who is to come.

Pope Francis

(Message for the Second World Day of the Poor “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him”)

18 November 2018 marked the second annual World Day of the Poor established by Pope Francis in his Apostolic Letter, Misericordia et Misera (issued on 20 November 2016). In joining our Pontiff’s appeal, Caritas Europa is calling on Christians to serve the poor with concrete actions that address their daily needs.

Caritas Europa understands poverty very broadly as a multi-dimensional, multi-faceted phenomenon and which is based not solely on income, as hitherto, but includes basic needs, basic human rights and such intangibles as vulnerability, risk, inequality, marginalisation, discrimination, exclusion, a feeling of powerlessness, the circumscribing of options and choices.

Here we thus explore poverty in all its complexities, minding material, cultural, emotional and spiritual aspects of poverty, which are closely interconnected and often mutually sustained. We also look here at various possible ways of eradicating poverty in its broad context, as seen in the successful stories by many of our Caritas Europa member organisations, and testimonies of people who found their way out of challenging living circumstances by the means of reaching out and asking for help as well as engaging into social projects and eventually providing help for others who are in need.

Enjoy reading!



Prayer of the poor


about the platform

This platform provides a space for in-depth interdisciplinary and ecumenical reflection. The focus is on the relationship between the Catholic Church’s praxis and the social thought coming from various Caritas organisations. It allows for practical and academic exchange on how to better develop this relationship for the mutual benefit of all. The platform is designed around concrete urgent social themes, offering serious, respectful and innovative reflections on bridging religious praxis and contemporary societies. Faith and Action offers a forum for the voices of diverse people of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds. It offers concrete examples, records current research and assesses the relevant literature.

The opinions expressed in the articles here are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of Caritas Europa.

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