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» 08/04/2012
THAILAND
Thai Bishops: Church's social doctrine, for development of ASEAN community
by Weena Kovidhavanij
By 2015 free trade and movement among member nations. Concerns about growing inequality, materialism and consumerism. To respond to the crisis, Catholics and Caritas promote the value of human dignity and individual, in a perspective of sustainable growth. Increased knowledge of ASEAN community and support for non-negotiable values.

Bangkok (AsiaNews) - In a society a "slave"  to capitalism, materialism, the frantic search for money and success, the values ​​of the Church and a focus on the human being are essential for a true development of the nation. These elements are important and urgent, particularly in view of the path taken by Thailand within ASEAN - an Association that brings together 10 South-East Asian nations - which by 2015 hopes to reach free trade and movement among member states. The close collaboration between the bishops 'conference and individual dioceses is essential to the success of this goal, particularly in the fields of education, promoting awareness of the ASEAN Community and support for non-negotiable values: the dignity of human life and the person, rights and responsibilities within society.

The road map endorsed by the ASEAN nations - Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Brunei, Laos, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia - will be implemented by 2015, allowing for free trade and movement, with the following objectives: elimination of the last tariff barriers, the standardization of customs procedures and criteria of designations of origin and investment, the liberalization of capital within the area; free movement of workers, opening-up the service sector, the strengthening of inter-regional infrastructure.

In an increasingly stringent and consumerist market, in which rich poor divide is widening, the social doctrine of the Church becomes a point of reference for enhancement of the individual and global progress. For some time the bishops of Thailand have launched initiatives and meetings devoted to the subject, as was the case with the last synod of the local Caritas, scheduled for June 19 to 21 at the Camillians center in Bangkok. The event was joined Msgr. Philip Banchong Chaiyara, President of the Thai bishops Commission for Human Development in the Conference, 13 priests, 46 religious and 72 lay people, who debated the theme: "Challenges of the Church in human development, towards the creation of the ASEAN Community ".

Inequality and exploitation increasingly characterize Asian societies in modern times, among the countries there are huge economic disparities and the problem of migrant workers emerges forcefully. This situation is due to human trafficking and drugs smuggling, spikes in crime, violations of the rights of individuals.

In the agricultural sector more and more acres of land are torn from the hands of farmers, to promote the intensive cultivation in the capitalist mold, with disastrous consequences for the environment and food production. Added to these economic disasters there also human and social fractures that lead to an increase in cases of abortion, teenage pregnancy, violence and abuse in the family.

For this reason Catholics must revive the principles of the social doctrine of the Church, for a development that takes account of economic progress but also the value and dignity of every person. By being a Church that is among the poor and marginalized, the faithful with the support of their pastors will encourage awareness of the ASEAN community and contribute to its development.

 


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See also
10/23/2009 THAILAND – ASEAN
Economy, environment and human rights at the centre of ASEAN summit in Thailand
by Weena Kowitwanij
05/25/2010 THAILAND
Thai Buddhists celebrate Vesak and seek solutions to political and social crisis
by Weena Kowitwanij
11/16/2011 THAILAND
Flood situation improving in Bangkok as Caritas brings aid to victims
by Weena Kowitwanij
11/11/2011 THAILAND
Bangkok still on flood alert, as class action is prepared against govt
by Weena Kowitwanij
02/28/2009 THAILAND - ASEAN
ASEAN summit: talk includes economy, ignores human rights
by Weena Kowitwanij

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