BBC NEWS | Europe | Pope laments global instability
We hope you and your family are enjoying this wonderful Christmas season. At the Midnight Mass Pope Benedict XVI shared a special message.
Lamenting all the violence that exists in our world but particularly in Africa and the Middle East the Pope has rightfully identified “self-interest” as one of the most harmful causes that has led to many of these current tragedies. The United States, for its part, has also been culpable of exerting a foreign policy based on self-interest, specifically economic self-interest.
In a couple of days the Pope will issue a message on World Day of Peace which is January 1st. I invite you take time to read this message and perhaps you can use it as a reflective document for the Christmas season. In it the Pope highlights five areas of concern:
- Campaigns that promote the extermination millions of unborn because of the demographic situation.
- The spread of pandemic diseases especially of AIDS and the lack of accessibility of medicines that can treat these diseases
- The ongoing growth of child poverty and the lack of services that promote education, healthcare and opportunities for children and families.
- Promoting disarmament and using those funds to increase development.
- A global policy to address the current global food crisis.
After the Pope mentions these issues he goes on to say:
One of the most important ways of building peace is through a form of globalization directed towards the interests of the whole human family. In order to govern globalization, however, there needs to be a strong sense of global solidarity between rich and poor countries, as well as within individual countries, including affluent ones. A “common code of ethics” is also needed, consisting of norms based not upon mere consensus, but rooted in the natural law inscribed by the Creator on the conscience of every human being (cf. Rom 2:14-15). Does not every one of us sense deep within his or her conscience a call to make a personal contribution to the common good and to peace in society? Globalization eliminates certain barriers, but is still able to build new ones; it brings peoples together, but spatial and temporal proximity does not of itself create the conditions for true communion and authentic peace. Effective means to redress the marginalization of the world’s poor through globalization will only be found if people everywhere feel personally outraged by the injustices in the world and by the concomitant violations of human rights. The Church, which is the “sign and instrument of communion with God and of the unity of the entire human race” will continue to offer her contribution so that injustices and misunderstandings may be resolved, leading to a world of greater peace and solidarity.
This again leads us to celebrate, as members of a Catholic religious community, our commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I invite you to examine our reflection on the declaration in one of my earlier posts or if you like, visit our email archives and read our reflection on Passionist Spirituality and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.