Benedict XVI Calls for Globalized Solidarity

Urges Keeping the Person at Center of Development

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 2, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Noting that the world is increasingly affected by intertwined economic and commercial interests, Benedict XVI has made an appeal to "globalize" the call for solidarity.

The Pope said this Saturday upon receiving in audience participants from the annual international congress of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation on "Social Capital and Human Development."

Pope John Paul II established the lay foundation in 1993 to promote the social doctrine of the Church in professional and business sectors.

Benedict XVI noted how the foundation had been reflecting on the need "to promote a global development that allows for the integral development of man, while highlighting the contribution that can be made by voluntary associations, nonprofit foundations and other community groups that have come into being with the aim of making the social fabric ever more cohesive."

"Harmonious development is possible," he added, "if the economic and political decisions take into account the fundamental principles that make it accessible to all," in particular, "the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity."

Active participants

The Holy Father also highlighted the importance of keeping "the person, created in the image of God and loved by him, [...] at the center of every economic plan to protect and administer the immense resources of creation."

"Only a shared culture of responsible and active participation will enable human beings to consider themselves not just as users or passive witnesses, but as active participants in world development," the Pontiff added.

"It is necessary to prevent profit becoming purely individual, and to guard against forms of collectivism that oppress personal freedom," said Benedict XVI. "Economic and commercial interests must never become exclusive, because this would be an effective affront to human dignity."

"The great challenge of today is to 'globalize,' not just economic and commercial interests, but also the call for solidarity, while respecting and taking advantage of the contribution of all components of society," he added.

The Pope thanked the members of the foundation for "the generous support you tirelessly give to the Church's charitable activities and works of human promotion," and he invited them also to reflect "on the creation of a just world economic order."

"On the last day," he said, "on the Judgment Day, we will be asked whether we used what God placed at out disposal to meet legitimate requirements, to help our fellow man, especially the smallest and those most in need."