The Justice and Peace Commission of the Maltese Dominican Province, through the seminar The Problem of Poverty, desires to give its contribution to create more awareness regarding the complex problem of poverty. Pope Francis in his late Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, insists that we Christians, “cannot uphold an ideal of holiness that would ignore injustice in a world where some revel, spend with abandon and live only for the latest consumer goods, even as others look on from afar, living their entire lives in abject poverty.” (GE par.101)
There are various reasons which lead some people to live in poverty and it’s not right to generalise. Poverty does not depend only on lack of money-management or wrong choices of the poor. Neither does it depend simply on Governments’ bad policies during the years. If we think so, we are being very simplistic. Unfortunately, poverty is a universal problem, especially in societies built on competition, where everyone has to race to win the first place. As in all races, there will be those who will run faster than others and will manage to win the first places and those, who will come last. Very often it happens that these will remain so back, that those who win the first places, not because they are cruel and egoistic, will be so far that they will loose their sight.
We have to identify the causes of poverty and work on them with the hope of creating a society and an economy which are human-friendly. The Justice and Peace Commission of the Maltese Dominican Province believes that the basic purpose of politics is not economic growth at all costs, but economic growth which serves the good of every person, especially of the vulnerable. We believe also that every economic activity should not be driven simply by the principle: maximum profit, with the minimum costs. Economy has to serve the good of everybody and not simply the interests of a particular elite, where some live in luxuries and others lack the basic needs to live a decent life.
The Justice and Peace Commission of the Maltese Dominican Province knows that it’s not easy to make such an achievement, however, if those, who have some responsibility, value more the good of others rather than money and exaggerated profits, some improvement, could be made. When money becomes our new divinity, we will consider profit much more important than human lives. Consequently, there will arise many injustices, because to earn as much money as possible, we will be ready to do everything. We will end up living in a jungle, where the big animals will feed themselves on the small ones, where the strong will get stronger by exploiting the weak and where the rich will become richer by taking advantage of the rest.
A particular country shows how much is developed and emancipated, not only from economic growth, but from how much it cares for the poor, from how much it’s struggling to empower them to live a dignified life, which suits every person, so that they will not remain dependent on the assistance and mercy of others to live. The Justice and Peace Commission of the Maltese Dominican Province believes that everyone would like to live in a better society. For this reason, we hope that in front of all the difficulties we may encounter, everyone of us will try to do his/her best to choose in favour of those, who suffer most, to live a better life, which suits every person.