International Aid and Integral Human Development

A distinctive mark of Christianity from its beginning has been solicitude for the poor. The source of this concern is no mystery: Jesus’ own ministry was characterized by compassion toward the marginalized and insistence on the dignity of all people.

With the rise of the contemporary international system of nation-states and the advent of extraordinary economic progress within many of those nations, the Roman Catholic Church recognized a new dimension to its traditional concern for the poor. Perceiving a disturbing imbalance in levels of development among nations, Catholic pastors urged those in richer nations to remember their brothers and sisters abroad.