Outspoken on topics ranging from the environment and climate change to the global economy, Pope Benedict XVI has consistently brought us thought provoking messages through the prisms of Catholic social teaching. 

In light of the exceptional news received about the resignation of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Progressio, a charity founded by lay Catholics, would like to share their reflections on the remarkable stands he has made about issues close to our heart.

Pope Benedict has shown a deep moral conviction to improving the lives of the poor worldwide.

The Pope on MDGs: “Achieving the goal of eradicating extreme poverty by the year 2015 is one of the most important tasks in today’s world ... such an objective is indissolubly linked to world peace and security”

The Pope on Grass Roots organisations: “Aid programmes must increasingly acquire the characteristics of participation and completion from the grass roots.” (Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI, 2009, paragraph 48)

Mark Lister, Progressio’s Chief Executive, has said: “His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has been an authoritative moral leader during a period of intense and sustained global environmental and economic crises.

“It’s in part because of his insight and vision that climate change and the global economic crisis have been seen as moral issues. He’s been an untiring advocate for the world’s poorest people, advocating for the commitment of governments to spending 0.7% of national income to development aid by this year, an area of which the UK government has shown leadership.

“Pope Benedict’s legacy will be of a global Catholic church witnessing to its faith by challenging the systems and structures that keep people poor.”

Daniel Hale, Head of Campaigns, added that “At the end of 7 years, Pope Benedict scores an emphatic A* for helping the fight against global poverty. He’s been resolute on the basics like ensuring everyone has enough food and water. 

“He’s been a great ally in the fight to get rich nations to meet our obligations on delivering aid, and tough on making the economy work for the poorest people in our world. 

“At a time when other global leaders didn’t want to engage on climate change, he’s really changed the debate and made it a moral issue. A great leader on issues that matter to poor communities, he’ll be missed.”



For interviews, please call Lucy Jenkinson on 0207 326 2011 or e-mail lucyj@progressio.org.uk