Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 313
Giovanni Battisti Montini, also known as Pope Paul VI, wrote Populorum Progressio and released it in March, 1967. As an encyclical, it is supposed to convey the Pope's thoughts on a social, cultural, or political issue. There are no characters involved in the sense of characters in a novel, but he does talk about different groups of people, which we will discuss in this answer.
Colonizers: In his writings, he criticizes colonizers who took advantage of people, but he notes that they brought different technological and legal developments. He also talks about the poor and those afflicted with different conditions.
Supporters of dictators: Another group of people he talks about is those that are tempted to support dictators or other political strongmen, in the pursuit of helping their country.
Humanists: Another group he warns about is humanists, those who lack a moral structure that is rooted in a love for God and a love for man. He argues that scientific development and technicals are important, but they must be reinforced with an ethical framework.
Property owners: Next, Pope Paul VI writes about property owners, reinforcing his support for property rights but urging property owners to not hoard wealth and to use their property for good. This could include, for example, being responsible when planting crops or cutting down trees for timber.
Nations: Finally, he talks about the role of nations and the responsibility of countries to treat their citizens fairly and build an inclusive world.
Like most papal writings, this letter gives the framework and analysis of current world issues in order to reinforce the views of the Catholic Church and, ideally, influence decision-makers all the way down to average citizens. While it does not have characters in the sense fiction writings do, it does include many groups of people and lays the groundwork for important discussions about important topics for us to consider.
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