Sunday, June 8, 2008

Global Development


VATICAN CITY , 31 MAY 2008 ( VIS ) - At midday today, the Holy Father received members of the "Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice", who have just concluded their annual meeting, which this year has focused on the theme: "Social Capital and Human Development".

In his remarks to the group, the Pope noted how they have been reflecting on the need "to promote a form of global development that remains attentive to the integral promotion of mankind, while highlighting the contribution that can be made by volunteer associations, non-profit organisations 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 political and economic choices ... take into account the fundamental principles which make [such development] accessible to everyone: ... subsidiarity and solidarity". The Pope also highlighted the importance of keeping humankind "as the focus of all economic planning", and pointed out that, "only a shared culture of responsible and active participation will enable human beings to consider themselves nor just as users or passive witnesses, but active participants in world development".

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

He went on: "The great challenge of today is to 'globalise', 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".

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, on the Day of Judgement, 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", he concluded.

AC/.../CENTESIMUS ANNUS VIS 080602 (350)

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