Catholic Church of Montreal > News > Topics > Lent 2017 > Share Lent 2017 : Letter from Archbishop Lépine

Share Lent 2017 - Integral Human Development

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

With Pope Paul VI and his encyclical Populorum Progressio , not only did we begin to speak of development, but we also began to make the connection between development and peace. When we work for justice and development, we work for peace. That being said, the concept of development presented poses an ongoing challenge. Indeed, it requires that we not only consider economic development but have a vision of humanity and of society directed toward “integral development,” that is to say, the development both of humanity as a whole and of every human being. This requires a holistic approach that considers every aspect of the human person: created by God, created in God’s image, created with a body and soul, created man and woman.

In today's terms, we speak of the dignity of all human beings, which exists in and of itself and which must never be reduced to an object, something of which to take advantage, not only in our families but in the social, economic and political spheres as well. This means that, from conception to natural death, each person, by the very fact of their existence, possesses an inherent and inalienable dignity that we must learn to respect and actively support. Any social or economic project that neglects or ignores human dignity is no longer at the service of justice and peace.

Development and Peace (Caritas Canada) exists to serve this vision by supporting projects in partn ership with organizations who share this desire for integral development through their commitment of service to individuals, families and societies. Pope Francis confirmed this call; he recently instituted the Dicastery for P romoting Integral Human Develop ment , whose task is to advance the cause of justice, solidarity, peace and the safeguarding of creation.

I encourage you generously to support Development and Peace , which strives to support all that contributes to what is true, just and good, in union wit h Jesus Christ, who revealed God’s love for the poor to us , and with his Church, which witnesses to the rights of life and liberty.

May God bless you and keep you in his peace,

† Christian Lépine
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Montreal

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