Populorum Progressio 86-87: To All Promoters of Development

A final word from 1967 To All Promoters of Development:

86. Finally, a word to those of you who have heard the cries of needy nations and have come to their aid. We consider you the promoters and apostles of genuine progress and true development. Genuine progress does not consist in wealth sought for personal comfort or for its own sake; rather it consists in an economic order designed for the welfare of the human person, where the daily bread that each (person) receives reflects the glow of (familial) love and the helping hand of God.

Who might fall into this category? Among the Church’s apostolates, certainly missionaries. Notice the word used above: apostles. This cannot be an accident, that a pope would use a word laden with great witness and meaning in the Christian tradition. Apostles were first in our history the Twelve, those closest to the Lord and who learned from him personally. An apostle, therefore, has that intimate connection with Jesus. A teaching authority is also grafted into an apostolic ministry. Here, those who promote human development have words to share and be listened to and followed. This would include lay people, and even those outside the Christian fold. Pope Paul VI seems to make no distinction.

A final blessing, and a word of hope:

87. We bless you with all Our heart, and We call upon all (people) of good will to join forces with you as a band of (sisters and) brothers. Knowing, as we all do, that development means peace these days, what (person) would not want to work for it with every ounce of (their) strength? No one, of course. So We beseech all of you to respond wholeheartedly to Our urgent plea, in the name of the Lord.

Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, on the feast of the Resurrection, March 26, 1967, in the fourth year of Our pontificate.


Any thoughts on this document? It’s been a long journey, and comments have been minimal so far.

This encyclical letter is © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana, and can be found in its entirety at this link.

The image is of Lady Justice at the Central Criminal Court of London.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Populorum Progressio, social justice. Bookmark the permalink.

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