Pope: Globalization Needs Solidarity

Emphasizes Human Element of Development

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says that in today's globalized economy, there is no true development without solidarity.



On Friday and Saturday the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation invited some 350 experts to the Vatican to discuss "The Growing Role of Emerging Countries in Global Competition: Economic, Social and Cultural Consequences." The Pope received them in audience Saturday.

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

Citing John Paul II's encyclical "Centesimus Annus," Benedict XVI noted: "Development must not be understood solely in economic terms, but in a way that is fully human.

"It is not only a question of raising all peoples to the level currently enjoyed by the richest countries, but rather of building up a more decent life through united labor, of concretely enhancing every individual's dignity and creativity, as well as his capacity to respond to his personal vocation, and thus to God's call."

Inspired principles

This message, the Holy Father explained, was already present 40 years ago in Pope Paul VI's encyclical "Populorum Progressio."

Benedict XVI said: "Attention to the real needs of the human being, respect for the dignity of every person, a sincere search for the common good are inspired principles that are good to keep in mind when planning a nation's development.

"Unfortunately, however, this does not always happen. Today's globalized society is filled with dramatic imbalances."

During the conference it was noted that China and India are experiencing economic growth, but that growth does not correspond mathematically to widespread social, cultural and economic development for the entire population.

The Holy Father said, "When we consider the sustained increase of taxes on economic growth, when we stop and analyze the problems linked to modern progress, not excluding environmental damage and irresponsible consumption of natural and environmental resources, it is evident that only a globalization that is attentive to the needs of solidarity can ensure an authentic future for humanity and a stable peace for all."

The Pope asked Catholics, in particular those involved in applying the norms of social doctrine in public life, to promote "the culture of solidarity and to favor an economic development that is sensitive to the expectations of individuals and peoples."

He added, "Only by weaving the three threads of development together -- economic, social and human -- can a free and just society be born."