01/14/2017, 13.33
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Pope: Mother Teresa is an icon for all those who treat irresponsible globalization

In his meeting with members of the Global Foundation, Pope Francis condemned the "culture of waste" and the "capitalist system”, as had John Paul II in his encyclical Centesimus Annus. Mother Teresa welcomed “every human life, whether unborn or abandoned and discarded". For a " fraternal and cooperative" globalization, we need to learn “compassion for those suffering”, and be guided by the Church's social doctrine.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis today met participants in the Roman Roundtable of the Global Foundation. He told them that Mother Teresa, who was canonised last 4 September, was an “icon of our time” who “represents and recapitulates” the “efforts on the part of individuals and institutions to reverse the ills produced by an irresponsible globalization.”

Founded in Melbourne, Australia, in 1998, the Global Foundation is a non-profit organisation that works for the economic and social common good. It cooperates with major corporate and community organisations, like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, as well as faith-based institutions, like the Catholic and Anglican Churches.

The pope praised the Global Foundation, which seeks “to discern just ways of attaining a globalization that is ‘cooperative’, and thus positive, as opposed to the globalization of indifference.”

For the pontiff, “a world economic system that discards men, women and children because they are no longer considered useful or productive according to criteria drawn from the world of business or other organizations, is unacceptable, because it is inhumane.”

Pope John Paul II had also lashed out against the capitalist system in Centesimus Annus: “In 1991, Saint John Paul II, responding to the fall of oppressive political systems and the progressive integration of markets that we have come to call globalization, warned of the risk that an ideology of capitalism would become widespread. This would entail little or no interest for the realities of marginalization, exploitation and human alienation, a lack of concern for the great numbers of people still living in conditions of grave material and moral poverty, and a blind faith in the unbridled development of market forces alone. My Predecessor asked if such an economic system would be the model to propose to those seeking the road to genuine economic and social progress, and offered a clearly negative response. This is not the way (cf. Centesimus Annus, 42).

Over time, the risks mentioned by John Paul II have come about. Yet, “we have seen the spread of many concrete efforts on the part of individuals and institutions to reverse the ills produced by an irresponsible globalization. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whom I had the joy of canonizing several months ago, and who is a symbol and icon of our time, in some way represents and recapitulates those efforts. She bent down to comfort the poorest of the poor, left to die on the streets, recognizing in each of them their God-given dignity. She was accepting of every human life, whether unborn or abandoned and discarded, and she made her voice heard by the powers of this world, calling them to acknowledge the crimes of poverty that they themselves were responsible for (cf. Homily for the Canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 4 September 2016).

“This is the first attitude leading to fraternal and cooperative globalization. It is necessary above all for each of us, personally, to overcome our indifference to the needs of the poor. We need to learn ‘compassion’ for those suffering from persecution, loneliness, forced displacement or separation from their families. We need to learn to ‘suffer with’ those who lack access to health care, or who endure hunger, cold or heat.

“This compassion will enable those with responsibilities in the worlds of finance and politics to use their intelligence and their resources not merely to control and monitor the effects of globalization, but also to help leaders at different political levels – regional, national and international – to correct its orientation whenever necessary. For politics and the economy ought to include the exercise of the virtue of prudence.

“The Church remains ever hopeful, for she is conscious of the immense potential of the human mind whenever it lets itself be helped and guided by God, and of the good will present in so many people, small and great, poor and rich, businessmen and labourers alike. For this reason, I encourage you to draw constant inspiration from the Church’s social teaching as you continue your efforts to promote a cooperative globalization, working with civil society, governments, international bodies, academic and scientific communities, and all other interested parties. I offer you my cordial good wishes for every success in your endeavours.”

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