By Father Augusto Zampini (Integral Human Development at the Vatican) and Katherine Marshall (World Faiths Development Dialogue, Berkley Center)
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Good morning. I’m Katherine Marshall, I’m in Washington, DC speaking from Georgetown University with Monsignor Augusto Zampini, who is at the Vatican I believe. We’re speaking in the context of the global symposium that Georgetown University, the school of foreign service is organizing. Father Zampini, can you tell us how you see the COVID crisis, both the health crisis, but also the economic and social crises that are affecting everyone in the world in one way or another. How is that affecting religious communities? Then you might also just speak about the task force exercise that you are leading.
Thank you, Katherine. Yeah, COVID is a tragedy. Then let’s start clarifying that. Thousands of people have died, there are millions infected, millions affected socially, economically, etc. This is not some desirable situation. However, what the COVID crisis has done is to exacerbate other crises that we were having, and we were not paying enough attention. Of course some academics or some specialists, yeah. But in terms of… Is that you cannot have a proper crisis and thinking, “Well, we might have to change something next year.” No.
A proper crisis is something that is urgent, that emerges in an urgent way and therefore requires urgent responses. Of course, urgencies, I like to put this idea, especially, well, for those who are listening that are in the course of the university, the analogy of when we witness an accident on the street, you have to run quickly and the tendencies, but you have to be careful, you have to think, because if you don’t think you can do more harm than good. That’s why all the courses for first aid help, etc.
Well, this is something where all the people who are training in thinking need to come on board, but not in the classic academic way of thinking and well, writing a book that it will be published in 10 years’ time and somebody will read it and say… No, because people, countries, all leaders, they need to take decisions urgently, and this is a new crisis and it’s an urgent crisis that requires new responses. Here is the thinking, we need to bring our research and provide this research to those who have to make decisions now so that they can make the best decisions they can.
This is very, very important, but it’s not just a health issue. It’s like, again, continuing with the analogy of the person who had an accident, is lying in the street, the person could have also other diseases. You have to be careful in what medicines you apply. Well, the same. The world has a very, very serious, I would say. Socioeconomic crisis. There is the ongoing inequality. There’s massive research on that and it’s obvious, so even if you don’t believe in research, that there’s not to believe but it’s a fact, but you have just to witness how cities for example are built up.
You have these very super extraordinary modern neighborhoods—rich—and next door, a super-poor one. Even in countries or in states around the US and even in cities like Washington, DC, when last time I was in DC I was impressed with the number of homeless and the like. It’s not that you have to hide them, but we are talking about one of the richest economies in the world, and you still have this problem. It’s not just limited to poor regions. Inequality is on the rise, has been on the rise for a while, and this is not just a coincidence. This is the consequences of a particular economic model.
Again, we are not a blaming or condemning economics as such. But you have understand, we have to understand that within the economic model, in general, the development economic model, the way we have created over emphasizing the need to grow, grow, grow, grow materially, and considering the other things as externalities, such as the world, society. This is completely insane, and the problem is that it has created big social inequality, which is totally unsustainable. It has left millions of people behind, not just one, and it’s not sustainable because that will implode sooner or later.
And in the meantime, the millions of people are suffering. This is not acceptable from a Catholic perspective. What’s the alternative? Well, we don’t exactly know, but we need to find out, and there’s loads of initiatives. How to create a model of development to create jobs without destroying the society and without destroying also the environment. This synthesizes in two or three words in the book of Genesis. Genesis 2:15, when God entrusted human beings to till and keep the earth and the Pope explained this in the Laudato si’. To till and keep. Three words only.
Till is to produce, to work the earth, but at the same time, you cannot make it produce any production or work with the earth and destroy it. You have to keep, to protect it, to sustain it. These are the two things, and you can say, not just the earth, the planet itself, but also the people who are in the planet, because we are parts of the ecosystem. You have to find out a way of developing a model of production that is not counterproductive to the earth, that sustains that production or that permits that production unto the people that produce it.
This is what is at stake—the health crisis has exacerbated these two major crises. I would say are three more than two, and the response therefore, the urgent response to this crisis cannot omit the big mega crisis underpinning that. To use the words of the Pope, that the Pope used recently. “A tiny invisible virus has created a big mess.” But we have to be careful that there are big, enormous, very visible virus that are social inequality and environmental destruction and created by us.
These three things needs to be addressed together because they have the same root that is the root of us conceiving us as dominators, entire dominators of the earth and we can do whatever we want and also a model of growth that is based only on a material conception of our humanity, which is only one part. And it’s not sustainable, it’s not cohesive with our deep roots as human beings and it’s taking us nowhere. This emergency, the complexity of the crisis and the novelty comes together. We need to respond fast with taking into account the complexity, but simplifying it with novel things.
That’s very difficult. Isn’t it? Extremely difficult. That’s why we need people who think to support the decision makers who have to put in this soup, all these three ingredients that are very, very difficult, the emergency, the complexity, and the novelty together and they have to do it now because they have to make decisions now. What are we doing now? We are fighting against each other instead of finding how to create a very good soup that can cure the world rather than destroy it. I think this is what started…
Apologies for the long answer, but it’s very important for me to set the tone of the conversation, because otherwise we talk just about COVID or another thing, no. This is a mega crisis that has to be resolved as it is, because otherwise it will be, in Spanish we would say [00:09:20 Spanish], which means, yeah, we have our bread for today, but we will starve tomorrow. So, no. We have to address and that’s why the Pope says, prepare the future, bring the future back to the present and think, what is the future where we like? What are the people that we need to do to get there? And what do we have to do?
Because otherwise we will keep repeating the same mistakes as the previous crises and we will have COVID-20, COVID-21, COVID-22, COVID-26 or more crisis and believe me, the environmental and social crises will be even worse and we won’t have the world that we deserve and the world that we want to leave for our children and grandchildren.
From where you’re sitting, how have you seen the Catholic church, which is a remarkable global community, reacting? What kinds of information do you have? What are the themes that you see in the response? Then we can come back to the Vatican sitting where you are, but as a global community both to the health crisis and to the economic and social crisis.
Yes. The church, we have to remember is part of the world, it’s not outside the world. Therefore, the church is affected as everybody else is. Economically speaking, just to start with the parishes during the lockdown, their finances were down, also, the lack of contact prevents… The church basically means a gathering of people, so they have to be reinvented. How do you do to continue the communion, but with social distances, etc. The church is part of the world and therefore it’s affected as the world is affected.
But because our role is to serve people and serve, especially the poor and to create community, the local churches have been responding, doing their best, especially in poor regions, where millions of people have lost their jobs. If you’re thinking poor regions, not just poor countries. If you think about the majority of people in the world who are not rich, rich not millionaires rich means… Well, you can imagine. Rich are those who have to go out and look for the daily bread for the family, but all those people are in serious trouble today.
Of course, in some countries, there were some state help or some companies, if they were employed, were keeping up. But there are others who don’t have any state assistance or good employment, and we’re talking about millions of people. We’re not talking about five or four. Even if they were five or four, but here is a massive global problem. The church has been trying to respond also to creating networks of helping those who have lost their jobs, helping the elderly people, that they were on their own, that they were confined and couldn’t see their family, lots of spiritual needs there.
Also people dying and the families couldn’t attend the funerals. That’s very, for me, it’s very, very moving that thing and I have a friend who died and nobody could attend the funeral. He died and he just disappeared. You see? The church is trying to help on these things and trying also to create novel ways of responding to these challenges. But massive, massive help in poor regions of the world, particularly through the network of Caritas and other networks, not just Caritas. Basically the network of Caritas is very big. Then from the Vatican, we are helping the network of Caritas also to…
We’re trying to strengthen a little bit with donations that comes to the Pope and then we are distributing through the local churches to strengthen the projects that they have. This is one particular group of the Vatican COVID commission to strengthen these networks or the responses of local churches and to learn from them. We listen to them, we listen to the bishops, we listen to the hospitals, we listen to what they are doing and we try to feedback based on our research, because also we have a think tank group that analyzes these from an economic ecological health and security perspective.
This is basically what we do. Another response I would say is from the Universal Church, also the link with international organizations and countries, particularly through the secretary of state of the Vatican that is a small state, but nevertheless, a state, so we are also in touch with them to help…Well, to listen and to feedback in terms of the decisions, because we don’t want them to go back to normal. If normal was unfair and unsustainable, why should we go back to normal? We want to create something new. Sometimes it’s not easy. And also to communicate things.
In these areas of local churches, integral research, global communication and link with international organizations and states, these are basically the way we are responding.
Could you describe the task force exercise that you’re so involved in? It’s ambitious and I think it has no real precedent that I’m aware of in any other community, religious or nonreligious. It would be interesting to know how it came about and what the basic parameters are.
Yes. The story is interesting because the story is when we were deci… Well, the Pope has called us to grade this task force and he puts the dicastery that is like a ministry for those who don’t know that of integral human development as the coordinator of the task force. But other dicasteries are involved. The dicastery of communication, the secretary of state, Caritas Internationalis, the difficult academies of science is applied. There are lots of people involved, local, but when he created this, he especially encouraged us to prepare the future or to encourage…
He said, “With new imagination of the possible that only the gospel can give.” What does it mean? Normally the reaction to when you want to create something new is, we have to be realistic. Well, what does it mean to be realistic? Realistic is, well, we can’t do anything. The Pope said, “Well, use imagination with realities that the gospel can provide. That this kingdom of God is here and we just have to expand it.” That’s real, that’s possible. The commission serves as a catalyst. We are not going to serve the world, but is a catalyst inviting people to the conversation, providing expertise and tools and long-term change.
And because we don’t have any hidden agenda, we really want to change the world. To take this crisis as an opportunity to change the world. I think that’s the key for it works. We have a working group, one that is about local churches, we explained that some minutes ago. We have the communications, we have the link with international organizations and states. Then there are working group too, it has four task forces. On economics, on ecology, health and security. They all address these issues integrally and interconnected, and they all have organizations and people movements that are Catholic or non-Catholic.
They’re part of the commission, parts of the reflection and then we publish some things in the Vatican COVID Commission website, that is, you can just Google it and appears. But most importantly, we are providing a food for thought for the church and also for the world and we are pleased some are very useful, some people find this very useful. I was surprised for example, last week, we had, we are part of the World Economic Forum, also a task force and they have included a lot of our recommendations coming from the Catholic church, not in the bias wording, but they have included a lot.
Also, now we are working with people who are working on the vaccine, we’re working with people who are working on security and we are working with FIO and other programs on food because we will have some problems on food in the years to come, unfortunately. We are working also in the design of new organisms and the creation of jobs, that’s a very important thing. The new structures, the social systems and the relationship with nature. Millions and millions of things are happening.
What about education?
Well, education, of course, but the problem of education is the reason I didn’t mention the word is because we don’t want to confine education to the formal education, schools and universities. We need an education capable of triggering people’s imagination and helping people to have a critical examination of reality, and formal education is very important, but it’s not enough. We need education understood in a wider sense.
And in that sense, of course, we are working on a program of changing the way we teach economics and finance and business, and we will start soon, I think, a pilot project with Fordham University, and we are working in the way also we teach health, and we conceive the public health systems and governance as well. Georgetown University is of course, a very strong member of a task force for the task forces just as a clarification for your students, as well as the entire university, not just one faculty.
They have been very, very actively involved, but again, not just from a formal perspective, what we are going to teach at the university, but how we conceive education. Because your question reminds me, we want to embrace hope for the human family and there are two arms that we need for that. One is the education one, and another is spirituality because with that, we cannot ensure what we call intergenerational injustice. If we continue training our people to conceive economics as material growth at any cost, at any expense, we are part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
If we continue to training people in governance as classic and governmental relationship without understanding what’s going on now, that is, we will have a new world, geopolitics is changing very, very fast. We need people that can see beyond the current geopolitics to promote a new universal governance that we need. If we continue to treat people who are studying natural sciences only to completely detach from human beings, we are parts of the problem and not the solution. You see? This is one thing, but the other is the spiritual one.
The spiritual one is the driver for actual change, and the change that we need is so, so big that we cannot change without a very, very deep motivation. And motivation doesn’t come from here. Education normally is conceived as a kind of intellectual thing where spirituality comes from here, not from your gut, and if you don’t have that, we cannot ensure that this is a sustainable change that we need. We need to start changing now, we cannot change in an overnight. We need to start. The conversion is a process, it’s a journey, and the spiritual driver is extremely important.
That’s why even in the United Nations, we have never been called and take into account so much as now because everybody understands that we need to bring our spirituality, all religions, to provide the spiritual drivers so that this change can happen because 80% of the people in the world declare to be spiritual. If we bring the world the best spirituality out of each person and out of each community and organization, then change is possible, otherwise it will be very, very tough.
The same with education, if we don’t invest in the future generations in a good education so as to address the current problems of the crisis, as you mentioned, well, we are wasting our time. These are the two arms for the intergenerational injustice and to ensure that the changes that we start now, hopefully now, will continue and will be deepened in the future.
You are very much involved in this ambitious set of task forces and working groups. Do they have an endpoint or is this a continuing effort? Do foresee a product of some kind, a formal way in which it will be discussed and acted upon, or is there a different concept of this in this extraordinary time?
Well, there are some things that remain, the [inaudible 00:24:18] and there are some things he knew. All change, you have to keep the best of the past. There are some things already happening through the website. We have already two eBooks published from what the Pope has said during Lent and during his messages and other things. Then we have our executive summaries are on the web, that they will be distributed also in a current moral church language to the local churches that are acting upon them.
We have more research coming up in different themes, such as the future of work, the common good and economics, peace building and new solidarity and social systems and their relationship with the earth. There are more things coming up. The Pope will address the United Nations general assembly in two weeks’ times. Then we have the new encyclical has been announced for the 4th of October, it is related to that. All those things are more classic complete projects.
What is not so classic is that at the end of the COVID commission, fingers crossed, we found a solution for the COVID, but not for the other things, because the other things are more difficult. The end of the COVID commission will match with the end of the Laudato si’ year for the spring of next year although those who are not in the Northern hemisphere for May of next year, 2021. That will be a starting point of what we call the Laudato si’ seven-year commitment plan or the “Jubilee for the Earth” as Pope Francis said last week, or the Laudato si’ commitment plan. What does it mean?
It means that we will start, we already started, but it will be a movement and will be also the outcome a bit of the commission of people who really are committed to change. Of course, because you cannot change in an overnight, you have three, four, five, six, seven years to change. If you want to change your business, here’s what you have to do, and by the way, here is good practices of all these companies, big, small and large, who are already doing it from the north and the south. If you want to change your investments, here is what new investments is about.
Impact investing, positive social and environmental impact. If you want you to change your parish, how to transform into a sustainable carbon neutral parish, receiving the energy from heaven, as they say, and not from hell, creating new social bonds and new ways to communal, well, this is what you have to do in your building, with your community possibilities and these are thousands of parishes all over the world. If you are to change your schools, this is what thousands of schools in India are doing.
If you want to change your university, well, it’s not very simple because you have to change your curricula, your campus, your energy supply, everything. It’s very difficult. These are the years you have to do. And by the way, this is an example, Georgetown University is an example that would be a total carbon neutral, well, quite soon. We will provide all the expertise so that they can take the expertise and others too can follow. And also the challenges not just expertise. These are the difficulties. It’s like, if you want to change also your lifestyle or your holidays or your house, well, some families are already doing this.
In a way, and we are doing this with millions of people from the Catholic church, millions of people from other Christian churches, the Anglican church is quite excited with all and the Lutheran church as well, and other Christian churches, other religions and people of Goodwill. The idea is that we will arrive in May next year with this initiative of how to till and keep, how to allow our mother earth to breathe so that we, as society can also breathe and create new things. It will be a massive movement of people.
That’s from below, but also from above, because we are working on new regulations that can accompany this. Regulations from the church, regulations from cities, north cities are quite involved in this, regulations from countries, regulation from international organizations. What we want you to say, here we want to change, we are committed to that, and we are going to change with, or without you. With is better because we can support you, but if you don’t go in this path, unfortunately, we won’t be able to support you.
Regardless of whether you are from the right, from the left, from the north, from the south. No, because this has no colors. This is about humanity because it’s not as straight forward, we need to discuss, but within this change, within with path, not the path that belongs to the past, a path that belongs to a sick economy, with sick institutions and with sick people, no, that’s not what we want. The path that has healthy people with healthy institutions and health economics. This is the path. Of course, it’s not as simple as that. We need to discuss how, the steps, where we go.
This is the discussion that is worth having, especially in politics, especially in politics. Politics as, do you remember what Pope Francis said in Laudato si’? Politics is one of the highest expressions of charity of love. Yes, love is political because we are political beings. It’s anonymously ancient Greeks used to say. We need to deploy our love in our society and we have to ask people to get more involved in politics because politics is the one who is going to help us in going in this path.
Of course, with the driver spirituality, of course with a healthy economics, of course with a good public health system, of course with good intellectuals and good education, but without politics, it’s very difficult. In a way, what we’re trying to do in the East, the commission will end up with… The COVID crisis will finish. It would be one year ish, one year or two, but then it will start with this commitment for change because the Pope asked us, “Please be concrete.” Stop talking and start helping people to do the actual change, which while you’re trying to do that, yes, as you are a person, an individual, when you try to do something, change something from your own, you make mistakes.
You have to go backwards and forwards and correct. We have to start now. Not that people, they haven’t started, but we need to scale it up. The change that we need, we need to scale it up and we need to speed it up. This is what the commission is up to.
The commission is really merging as you describe it with a very broad vision, particularly as articulated in Laudato si’, but as the specific dimensions are coming out of the crisis. Looking a little bit closer in, two events are coming rapidly and I’m interested in how the thinking that the commission is doing relates. The first, the speech to the United Nations. I would imagine the issues of conflict and the call for a ceasefire, the issues of tensions, discrimination which we’ve seen in too many parts of the world. That’s one set of issues.
Then you have the World Bank IMF, annual meetings and the G20 events, which are focused more on some of the immediate financial packages, including I would add the issues of accountability. Perhaps you could comment briefly on those two dimensions of the issue.
Very briefly, well, for the Pope because it’s very soon. We have to wait to see what he wants to say. But yes, of course, the church has been saying for a while that we need, of course we are in favor of multilateralism in a global world you cannot… But there are lots of things that need to be changed also in the model that we have now that was created in the middle of the last century and lots of things have changed and particularly the issues of power. If you want to create a healthy global village, well, yes, of course the powerful, they always will have a say in, but a proper United Nations—nations united—that can enable us to level a little bit.
Well, this is something important now and in the world order and global governance, especially in a world where some private companies have more power than nation states. The global order now is quite important and also the peace building. We cannot do all these things that we want to do without proper peace and peace is not just the opposite of conflict. It’s a particular attitude towards the other and towards nature. So, yes, but we have to wait just a couple of weeks to what the Pope is going to say, but that would be important.
In terms of the long and the short-term decisions of the G20 and IMF and World Bank, yes, the thing is this, we know, Katherine that the decisions that governments are taking now will have a special effect in the long-term future because that’s what happens when you’re emerging from an crisis. We don’t want the nations or financial institutions to take decisions that they don’t have this long-term view in mind. Even if they have to take a decision for the short term, because what happens in the next years will have an impact on the long-term.
This is what we are trying to do to help them in a way, in terms of debt and the notion of debt, the notion of debit and credit, the notion of debt release, in terms of investment in public health, look at all the countries, the problems that all the countries they have had because of the divestment from public health institutions, all of them. Or those who invest a little bit more, they’re better off. This is something that we have to…
The importance of the World Health Organization, with all the problems that could have as any organization, but we are in a time because of the issues of climate that health and the destruction of biodiversity, that health issues, we need a coordination somehow of health issues and is related to economics. It’s not just, okay. It’s related to investments, investment in prevention, investment in wellbeing and investment on public health systems. And normally this is a mix, normally it’s a blend of private and public capital.
So why are the benefits just for some members of the private sector, if the public sector is involved? The benefits should be more for the public. This is something that also has to be discussed, even in the short term solutions, the rescue packages, but they have to discuss that. Well, this is something I want to stress because I very, very strongly would say, why are we rescuing companies that are polluting and causing more problems? Why are we rescuing companies that are not rescuing their own workers? Is it not insane?
If I’m with the public money, I’m rescuing you. It’s like the parable in the Bible. If I’m forgiving you or rescuing you, I expect you to… In fact, I expect you to rescue your own and if you don’t, well, then I’m not rescuing you. This is the condition, the same with the companies that pollute. France, there were some things going on about this. Well, I’m rescuing you, if you invest all this money in the transition that you need to stop polluting. You see, this is forward thinking. I’m not saying that we don’t have to invest in many companies, but the governments now, they have a very, very [inaudible 00:38:15]…
Even the international monetary fund, and with all these loans, they have a very big responsibility, enormous responsibility because they are the ones who have the conditions. They shouldn’t be the conditions that were put in the ’90s that were a disaster, you remember, for some countries. The conditions should be how to do these transition for the countries or companies to implement the sustainable development goals that we need or the transition that I was thinking about or nurturing the earth, where we work the earth of creating new understanding of living together with new ways of energy, of public transport, of health.
I cannot do it myself or the church cannot do it or one country, we need to do it together. The investment on this is an opportunity now, because we have all this money and it has to be put in rescuing, not what it was. Again, polluting, unfair, and sustainable. We need to invest in the transition, in health, in something that is new for the future and is sustainable for the future. The same in buildings and constructions, just to say another industry. Well, we need to change a lot the way we conceive our buildings in general, because the world is becoming more urban and will be by 2050, 80% of the world might be urban.
The way we conceive urbanization and we construct buildings and therefore we conceive the food to feed all the people who are living in cities, the energy that we need, well, we cannot not have the same system that we have now because it’s impossible, utterly impossible. This is the time to start thinking in a very sophisticated investment so as to allow the transition to happen in the next years, not in the next decade, in the next years, and this is what we want. We want to stop. We would like to convince them and we want to help also.
All these institutions that you mentioned, all the powerful people in the world, G20, IMF and World Bank, to have this thinking, because at the end of the day, if we keep investing in the old things or if we keep designing the world governance as we have, we will not be able to emerge different from this crisis and as the… Is repeating this every week. From a crisis, you don’t get out as the same person. From a crisis, you emerge differently, even better or worse. What would you want to choose? I rest my case.
You’ve given a gold mine of both information and inspiration. One last question. During this crisis, I think the vast majority of religious communities have been cooperative, have been part of the effort to find solutions to support the vulnerable people in society. But there have also been tensions between religious institutions and governments, including court cases and even some violence. A very last question, do you see in coming out of this period of extraordinary global crisis, any changes in the relationship between religious institutions and states and societies? It’s a big question, but with some quite specific questions as to whether you see change.
The change is in the same line of saying, we won’t be the same, especially the church. If we members of the church, if we fulfill our mission, which is now is the time to be prophetic. Prophetic is not just to announce, but prophetic is being a strong message for the betterment of other people, not for what we call the expansion of the kingdom of God, of justice, of peace, of mercy, of care. And again, this cannot happen by changing some little things, tweaking some things here and there, it will happen if we transform our lifestyles, our companies, our nations.
And if the church starts proposing radical transformation or conversion of this ecological conversion, that will create tensions, of course, but the tensions are work and they promise how to solve the tensions. That will depend on the region, on the particular state, particular… But it is time for the church… We are doing that already and not just the Catholic church, but the other Christian churches as well. I think we cannot remain indifferent for these mega crises that we are experiencing that is affecting the poor, is affecting the earth and it’s affecting everyone. The most vulnerable, the elderly people, healthcare work.
We cannot remain indifferent, but because we are affected also as a church, now it is time, well, to speak out. How? Well, it depends, but even if you speak out very politely and respectfully, you can be prophetic and when you are prophetic, and when you start saying things that are uncomfortable, you might be criticized. The alternative is to say that everything is fine and then we will yeah and continue to support governments that are saying that.
I think people will be able to judge those religious leaders that are doing that to those communities, but communities are keen on changing, and I think this will create tensions, but tensions doesn’t mean necessarily conflicts. Could end up in conflict, but I think it’s not just with governments, I think are with power in general because people in power, normally they don’t want to change and we are talking about radical change. How to convince people in power that they have a greater responsibility than the rest? And the power is service.
For the gospel power is service, for Christ power over service. He was God and even, he didn’t take being God as a way of imposing his vision over others, but serving and serving even the last ones and giving his life for everyone. This is our conception of power and we have also to change a lot of things, but this is where we start. When you start talking about this, many people are uncomfortable and there will be a tradeoff, of course. It’s not going to be easy, but what is the alternative? That’s the point. There’s no alternative.
We don’t have any other option, but to be prophetic in the name of love and in the name of hope also and in the name of our faith.
That’s remarkable and you focus very much on the prophetic role of the church and I think you would say of the best of religion and religious tradition globally is very much part of the crisis. Thank you so much. I’m very grateful and I’ll leave you to the rest of the day. Thank you very much.
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Father Augusto Zampini currently serves as adjunct secretary of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development at the Vatican. He was appointed to the position by Pope Francis in April, 2020.
Professor Katherine Marshall is a senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University. She serves as the executive director of the World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD) and worked at the World Bank from 1971 to 2006, tackling development issues in the world’s poorest countries.