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Alexia May P.


I. What does Catholic Social Teaching say about poverty?

1. How would you summarize Pope Paul VIs encyclical, Populorum Progression (On the
development of peoples) in a sentence?
- Nations should work together in order to work together in order to help those suffering
from poverty.
2. What fears/risks are predicted if change to the distribution of wealth does not occur?
- Change to how wealth is distributed is an urgent task. The life of needy nations, civil
peace in developing countries, and world peace are feared to be at stake. If nothing change,
millions will remain starving, countless families will remain destitute, countless will remain
steeped in ignorance, and the countless who need quality schools, hospitals, and homes will not
have access.
3. What did Pope Paul consider far more important in the war against poverty than the
redistribution of money? Why?
- Other than the redistribution of money, what is truly important in the war against
poverty is the solidarity of nations. It is through this solidarity that true progress can be made,
that true change can be effected, and true development can be attained. Dialogue also builds
fellowship among peoples and allows people to more effectively work together and build a better
4. What are the responsibilities of the rich?
- Pope Paul VI calls on Catholics in richer countries to play their part in helping
development. He says that Catholics in wealthy nations ought to be at the forefront of those who
fight to build a better world, one based on justice and equality. The rich should not shut their
eyes to those who stand in need. The encyclical states that Developed nations have an urgent
duty to help the developing ones. No country should keep its wealth for itself, rather, all nation
should produce more and better goods, for the entirety of the human race. The surplus riches of
wealthy countries must help those countries still in need.
II. Why social exclusion and no access to benefits or inadequate benefits is a cause of poverty.

Social exclusion is defined as the process of declining participation, solidarity, and access
to opportunities. Some causes of social inclusion include unemployment and lack of
transportation. From its definition, we can glean why social exclusion may be a cause of poverty.
The more people are cut off from opportunities and the chance to participate in the economy, the
more likely they are to be poor. The lack of opportunities granted to the poor only means that the
poor are unable or find it more difficult than average to find suitable work that will help them lift
themselves out of poverty.
Too often, when people are confronted with the problem of poverty, they would ask why
the poor person doesnt work to get themselves out of their situation. The truth is, the poor do
work. However, simply working doesnt mean that the poor are able to work in such a way that
they do not have to worry about the most basic necessities. Social exclusion goes hand in hand
with other ills such as a lack of education. The fact that the poor are, more often than not, unable
to finish basic education, means that they are cut off from most jobs that pay reasonably, jobs
that would have let them get out of the poverty cycle. Because they didnt have access to quality
education, they are unable to get a good job. Because they werent able to have a good job, they
couldnt send their children to a good school, or even let them finish school and the cycle
Another factor in poverty would be the lack of benefits or inadequate benefits. Many
countries provide benefits designed to help the poor. However, these programs are only as good
as their implementation. When things such as corruption hinder the distribution and
implementation of benefits, the poor are left to suffer. When a country provides for free
healthcare but does not provide quality healthcare, it wouldnt be the rich who suffer, it would be
the poor. Or if there is no free healthcare, but low-cost healthcare of poor quality, those mired in
poverty would be forced to shell out money for inadequate facilities and care. When the poor are
deprived of or unable to get benefits such as low-cost housing, they are forced to live in shanties
in illegally occupied land. Not only are they forced to violate the law, but they also live with
risks such as fire, crime, drugs, and etc.
Too often, simply working is not enough to get out of poverty. In the Philippines,
millions live in poverty. While there might be free healthcare, facilties are often cramped,
understaffed, and lacking in proper facilities and equipment. Only 4% of those living below
poverty line were in college, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. Too often, the poor
are only able to graduate from elementary school. 34.1% dont even have the chance to graduate.
In conclusion, social exclusion and a lack of benefits are two of the leading causes of
poverty. In order to change that, both a change in mindset and a change in policy and the
implementation thereof are needed. Doing so would only serve to decrease the poverty rate.
While it would not eradicate poverty, it would be a step in the right direction.