Manifesto Aims to Make Solidarity a Worldwide Commodity

60 Groups Say "No" to Terrorism and Preventive War

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ROME, SEPT. 22, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Sixty Catholic movements and organizations in Italy proclaimed a manifesto committing themselves to globalize solidarity, and to work against the No. 1 enemy of development: war.



The document was signed today by members of ecclesial institutions such as Catholic Action, the Community of Sant'Egidio, the Focolares, Communion and Liberation, and Pax Christi.

Florence Archbishop Ennio Antonelli, who convoked the assembly in his city, told the conferees Saturday: "We say 'no' to international terrorism, 'no' to preventive war, 'no' to globalization directed by international finance with the sole object of profit."

"On the contrary," he added, "we say 'yes' to the globalization of solidarity, 'yes' to integrally human development, 'yes' to truly representative rules and institutions, directed to governing the global market, 'yes' to international cooperation, to the primacy of education and formation."

The archbishop's proposals had already been included in the final manifesto. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, permanent observer of the Vatican at the United Nations, attended the meeting.

John Paul II made mention of the participants, when he addressed pilgrims gathered today at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

The Holy Father said the groups in Florence have offered "an ethical and common vision of globalization."

After commenting on the importance of the theme of the meeting and of the manifesto -- "Peace: Essential Condition for Global Development" -- John Paul II urged the organizers, among whom are the bishops of the Italian region of Tuscany, to "continue united in building the civilization of love and peace."

The movements and associations met and debated in Genoa at last year's G-8 summit of the eight most industrialized countries.

On this occasion, Archbishop Antonelli succeeded in uniting them by suggesting a thorough understanding of the challenge that globalization represents for believers.

"For us Christians," he told them, "the problems of globalization and peace are the problems of Christ, and not simply ethical questions."