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As the election to the European Parliament gets closer, I want to highlight some of the biggest European sins that unfortunately are not very present in the political debates.
Sloth means, according to the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, “disinclination to labour or exertion […] The narrow way stretches wearily before [the slothful] and his soul grows sluggish and torpid at the thought of the painful lifejourney. The idea of right living inspires not joy but disgust, because of its laboriousness.” Sloth is sinful laziness, the slothful is ignorant of the needs of the world and passive when other need their help. It isn’t rest from activism, but refusal to even start being active in the first place. And this is definitely something the European Union is guilty of when it comes to foreign aid.
When discussing aid giving, we have to remember that according to Jesus, generosity shouldn’t be measured in how much you give but how much you have left. While others were impressed of the big money the rich were able to donate in Luk 21:1-4, Jesus pointed out that the two coins a widow gave was all she had, and thus she gave more. It easy to think that the rich give a lot when you see the big numbers they are able to spare, but if you look at what they still keep for themselves it’s usually not as impressive.
According to Concord Europe, the member countries of the European Union gives around 50 billion euros every year to foreign aid. One could think that’s a lot of money – and indeed it helps a lot of people – but since the total GDP of the EU is 16 trillion euros, the amount of aid is actually minimal. Many European countries, together with other rich nations, pledged in 1970 that they would give at least 0,7 % of their GDP, but 40 years later only a few keep this promise.