Honduran Cardinal Laments Globalization of Poverty

"We Are Not Moving Toward a More Just System," He Says

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ROME, JULY 8, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga warned against a model of globalization promoted by powerful groups in developed countries that overlook the question of justice for weaker countries.



"Economic globalization without the globalization of solidarity is suicide for the poor and, therefore, for the majority of humanity," the archbishop of Tegucigalpa said Monday when addressing the opening session of Caritas International's general assembly.

"Only the logic of financial markets has been globalized. And the absolutism of that capital is ruinous," he added when addressing 400 delegates of 154 national Caritas groups.

"The new world order presented to us derives from the unification of markets to facilitate the circulation of money and merchandise," the cardinal said.

According to him, this conception of globalization requires that "there continue to be poor people in certain places of the world, and it is necessary to try to keep them in their place so that they will continue to produce in miserable cheapness for the rich."

"Injustice and inequality are distinctive signs of the present world," he said. "We are not moving toward a more just system. … We cannot continue to be blind. We are not moving simply toward a globalization of the markets, that is, toward the concentration of wealth, but we are moving toward the globalization of poverty."

"What is morally false cannot be economically correct," the cardinal stressed. "The present world situation will lead us to choose between our self-destruction or the recovery of sure hopes, which arise to the rhythm of the Gospel.

"From various quarters, we are being reminded of the need to put an end to this scandal, and to take steps toward a sustainable model, humanizing globalization and turning it into a promise and a genuinely universal plan."

Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga believes that solidarity calls for "putting oneself in the other's place, to discover his needs and to make an effort to satisfy them according to the possibilities of each situation."

The first session of this assembly continues until Saturday. The assembly has approved for full membership in the Caritas network these groups: Caritas-Kazakhstan, Caritas-Belarus, Caritas Social-Action (an organization of the bishops' conference of England and Wales), Caritas-Estonia, Caritas-Latvia, Caritas-Serbia and Montenegro, CORDAID (the Low Countries), Catholic Campaign for Human Development (in the United States), and Caritas-Tonga.

Caritas-Mongolia and the Karuna Myanmar Social Services will be incorporated as new associate members in Caritas International.