Note: This paper was delivered at a conference in Uganda
during the final months of 2001
My task has been described as a clarification of the key concepts to guide our discussion here these two days. I will attempt to provide a conceptual framework that will both clarify the meaning of poverty eradication and situate it within the principles of Catholic social teaching.
Clarification is indeed important, though not always easy. IвЂ™m reminded of a true story of something that occurred during one on our regional workshops in Zambia, designed to get local people (вЂњgrass rootsвЂќ) to offer their perspectives and recommendations on the preparation of the PRSP. In as much as possible, the workshop was conducted in the local language, which in this instance was ciTonga, in the Southern Province of Zambia. One of our staff asked the participants to suggest the best word for вЂњpovertyвЂќ вЂ“ and this was easily supplied. And then for вЂњpoverty eradicationвЂќ вЂ“ but then no suggestion came. Finally, one of the elders commented, вЂњWe have always had poverty so we have a word for that, but we have never had poverty eradication, so we have no word for that!"
For me the challenge this morning is to address three questions:
- What is poverty eradication?
- What is вЂњCatholic social teachingвЂќ?
- How can CST influence poverty eradication?