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Apostolic Nuncio to Thailand urges action on poverty and environment at Caritas Asia conference

The Apostolic Nuncio to Thailand issued an appeal to church leaders and delegates to prioritize the needs of the poor and advocate for their rights during the Caritas Asia Regional Conference. 

“The Gospel is replete with messages urging us to care for those most in need. Jesus himself identified with the poor,” said Archbishop Peter Byran Wells. 

The conference, hosted in Bangkok on June 11, focused on deepening the commitment to addressing key issues affecting the most vulnerable populations across Asia. The event gathered some 100 representatives from 25 Caritas organizations in Asia.

The prelate discussed the ‘Fundamental Option for the Poor,’ a core principle of Catholic Social Teaching, emphasizing the church’s responsibility to act on behalf of those in need.

“Caritas has a long and proud history of living out this fundamental option,” he noted. He challenged social action workers to further these efforts by actively participating in projects that offer direct relief and support to those affected by poverty.

Archbishop Wells called for greater advocacy efforts to influence policies that promote economic justice and social inclusion. 

He stressed the importance of being a voice for the poor in policy-making areas to ensure that their needs and rights are prioritized. 

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“We must be their voice, advocating for policies that promote economic justice, social inclusion, and access to basic necessities,” he said. 

Quoting Dorothy Day, a renowned advocate for the poor, Archbishop Wells reminded the church leaders that love for the needy must translate into tangible actions, not just sentiments. 

“We must not confuse sentimentality with love. Love is not sitting around feeling good about the poor. It is getting out and doing something about it,” he quoted. 

The prelate said there is a need to ensure that every initiative and project is implemented not only to address immediate needs but also to contribute to long-term sustainability and dignity for all.

He encouraged participants to reflect on their roles within their communities and to commit to impactful and loving actions that uphold the dignity of every person they serve.

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