Church Can Help Humanize Globalization, Says Cardinal Martino

Addresses an International Convention on Leo XIII

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 7, 2003 ( A Vatican official says the Catholic Church can do a lot to give meaning to globalization and put it more at the service of mankind.

Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, made that observation when he spoke on "The Teaching of the Church on Globalization" at a convention on Pope Leo XIII, organized in Rome by the Vatican secretary of state. The two-day convention ended Saturday.

The cardinal said the Church also stresses the urgent need to globalize solidarity, seeking progressive convergence toward a "common moral code."

"This does not mean one dominant socioeconomic system or one culture which would impose on ethics its own values and criteria," he said. "It is in the human person as such, in universal humanity created by the hands of God, that we must search for norms for social life."

"This research is indispensable if we are to guarantee that globalization is not just another name for absolute relativization of values and the homogenization of life styles and cultures," Cardinal Martino explained.

"The Church accompanies humanity in the discovery of the human aspect of globalization," he added. "She does so to ensure that increasingly, behind the problem of patents for genetically modified organisms we see the face of African farmers; behind lists of figures on a screen we see small savers in developing economies; behind satellites and optic cables we see the many young people in poor countries who could be trained in new technology; behind the sophisticated charts of the new economy we see businesses as communities of persons and behind flexible working hours working families."

He added: "This is the Christian position for governable globalization."