Pope Francis: Reject Inhumane Forms of Globalization

via Vatican News:

Before all else, I would restate my conviction that 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.  This lack of concern for persons is a sign of regression and dehumanization in any political or economic system.  Those who cause or allow others to be discarded – whether refugees, children who are abused or enslaved, or the poor who die on our streets in cold weather – become themselves like soulless machines.  For they implicitly accept the principle that they too, sooner or later, will be discarded, when they no longer prove useful to a society that has made mammon, the god of money, the centre of its attention.

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).

Sadly, the dangers that troubled Saint John Paul II have largely come to pass.  At the same time, 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 “com-passion” 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.