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Patriarch Bartholomew to WFP: hunger a spiritual challenge

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Jan 6, 2016 - AP

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Jan 6, 2016 - AP

13/06/2016 12:23

The World Food Programme’s leadership and executive board took June 12 and 13 to reflect on the organization's past, present, and hoped-for partnerships on hunger with religious and spiritual leaders and communities of different traditions from all around the world (including Pope Francis, whoaddressed the WFP leadership on Monday morning at the organization's headquarters in Rome).

The core theme is a shared common purpose towards a bold but achievable end: Zero Hunger by 2030. In preparing for the exchanges in Rome, WFP Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin, requested from a small group of religious leaders and actors short reflections on how they see the challenge and their visions, commitments, and exhortations aimed at providing ideas, cautions, and inspiration for dialogue and joint effort.

Among the leaders asked to contribute was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, His All Holiness Bartholomew I, the full text of whose reflection may be found below.


Hunger is not primarily a problem of underdeveloped nations, but of overdeveloped nations. The problem of hunger is a deeply spiritual challenge. It has more than merely financial, agricultural, or social dimensions. And it is not a matter of emptiness, but of excess. Unfortunately, however, our discernment and vision have become blunted and blurred by our insensitivity and greed. We must recall and realize that, when one person is hungry in our world, in our nation and in our neighborhood, there is an emptiness that spreads in our own heart.

At  the  Ecumenical  Patriarchate,  the  13th  of  June,  2016

Patriarch  BARTHOLOMEW  of  Constantinople

13/06/2016 12:23