I have a back-log of Zenit stories about the Pope, so I'll drop them all here:
Last week, the pope addressed two pontifical academies - the Academy of the Sciences and the Academy of the Social Sciences - and unveiled a sculpture of Pope John Paul II.
Zenit has the text of his address, in which he talked about the centrailty of the human person in society. An excerpt:
The concept of person continues to bring about a profound understanding of the unique character and social dimension of every human being. This is especially true in legal and social institutions, where the notion of "person" is fundamental. Sometimes, however, even when this is recognized in international declarations and legal statutes, certain cultures, especially when not deeply touched by the Gospel, remain strongly influenced by group-centered ideologies or by an individualistic and secularist view of society. The social doctrine of the Catholic Church, which places the human person at the heart and source of social order, can offer much to the contemporary consideration of social themes.
Here is the Zenit translation of the Pope's address at last week's general audience, which reflected on Ephesians 1:3-10.
Here is an excerpt:
Last week, the Pope also met with participants in a conference of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Here is the text of his remarks to them.
Here I wish to mention the importance of helping native communities, all too often subjected to undue appropriations aimed at profit, as your Organization recently pointed out in its "Guidelines on the Right to Food." Also, it must not be forgotten that, while some areas are subject to international measures and controls, millions of people are condemned to hunger, even outright starvation, in areas where violent conflicts are taking place, conflicts which public opinion tends to neglect because they are considered "internal," "ethnic" or "tribal." Yet these conflicts have seen human lives systematically eliminated, while people have been uprooted from their lands and at times forced, in order to flee certain death, to leave their precarious settlements in refugee camps.
An encouraging sign is the initiative of FAO to convene its Member States to discuss the issue of agrarian reform and rural development. This is not a new area, but one in which the Church has always shown interest, out of particular concern for small rural farmers who represent a significant part of the active population especially in developing countries. One course of action might be to ensure that rural populations receive the resources and tools which they need, beginning with education and training, as well as organizational structures capable of safeguarding small family farms and cooperatives (cf. "Gaudium et Spes," 71).