(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday received members of Italy’s National Federation of Farmers, who are this year celebrating the 70th anniversary of their foundation.
Listen to Lydia O'Kane's report.
Pope Francis told the farmers present in the Clementine Hall that there is no humanity without the cultivation of the earth, as there is also no life without good food that is produced for men and women of every continent.
This shows, underlined the Holy Father, that agriculture has a pivotal role.
In his prepared remarks to the farmers, the Pope reflected on as he put it, two critical points. He said, “the Second Vatican Council recalled the universal destination of the goods of the earth,” but, Pope Francis added, “in fact the dominant economic system excludes many from their correct use.” The Holy Father went on to say that, “absolutizing market rules, a culture of waste and waste that in the case of food has unacceptable proportions, together with other factors, cause misery and suffering for many families.” Therefore, the Pope continued, the system of production and distribution of food must be radically rethought.
In his second point, the Holy Father said it was important to remember that man is called not only to cultivate the land, but also to preserve it. In a time of climate change the Pope noted, this is difficult, that is why, he said, it is so vital that nations are able to work together to protect creation.
Finally, Pope Francis invited the farmers, in the spirit of St Francis, to love the land as Mother earth, and proposed that they make an alliance with it, so that it can continue to be, the source of life for the entire human family.