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The Church and globalisation

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 Contents - Feb 2007AD2000 February 2007 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: The Church and globalisation - Peter Westmore
Education: Australia's Catholic school systems: the case for radical surgery - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
East Timor: priests threatened with execution - Peter Westmore
Fr John Speekman: Vatican orders reinstatement of wrongly removed Sale Diocese parish priest - Michael Gilchrist
Priesthood: Orthodox priests in a divided Church - Fr John Trigilio
The Church and the environment: address the moral pollution first - Wanda Skowronska
Salesians help rebuild post-tsunami Sri Lanka - Br Michael Lynch
Why we need holy days of obligation - Joanna Bogle
Music: Johann Sebastian Bach and the heavenly choir - Fr Finbarr Flanagan
Letters: Shared guilt - Errol Duke
Letters: Lost! - Moya and Leo Morrissey
Letters: Truth and love - Chris Hilder
Letters: Root Cause - Marie Kennedy
Letters: Safe-sex? - Jack Blair
Poetry: Gender-Bender Autos - Bruce Dawe
Letters: Limbo? - Lawrence R. Hurley
Letters: Manipulating language - Carol V. Phillips
Letters: Obedience - Matthew Buckley
Letters: Latin Mass - John Gariano
Letters: Religious materials - J.W. Smith
Letters: Catholic dolls - Anne Cramer
Books: TREASURE IN CLAY: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM: Five Reflections on the History of the Church - Sr Mariana Handley (reviewer)
Books: SPIRITUAL DIRECTION: Who Is It For and What Are Its Benefits? - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: B.A. Santamaria's correspondence published by MUP
Books: New Titles from AD Books
Reflection: Why the Church must continue to uphold priestly celibacy - Fr Pat Stratford

The recent publication of Globalisation: a Christian Perspective, written by the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, is a welcome addition to the Church's long-standing concern about the impact of economic theories and structures on society, the dignity of the person, and issues of Third World development.

Since Blessed Frederic Ozanam in the 1830s, Pope Leo XIII in the 1890s, and a profusion of 20th century Catholic thinkers, the Church has built up a body of social teachings which inspired Christian democracy in post-war Europe, Solidarity in Poland in the 1980s, and similar movements worldwide, including in our own country. Sadly, this legacy has been largely forgotten in recent years as some clerics have taken over the role of the laity, and vice-versa.

Bishop Crepaldi's book emphasises that the person is never to be considered as a cog in a global economic machine. The world's economic system exists to ensure the benefits of trade and development are shared as widely as possible, not concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy individuals in the world's richest nations.

This reinforces a key theme of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, 2004) which enthusiastically accepted the idea of enhanced international trade between nations, but said, "The church's social doctrine has time and again called attention to aberrations in the system of international trade which often discriminate against products coming from poorer countries and hinders the growth of industrial activity in and the transfer of technology to these countries."

It added, "The continuing deterioration in terms of the exchange of raw materials and the widening of the gap between rich and poor countries has prompted the social magisterium to point out the importance of ethical criteria that should form the basis of international economic relations: the pursuit of the common good and the universal destination of goods; equity in trade relationships, and attention to the rights and needs of the poor in policies concerning trade and international co-operation." (Para 364)

As Australia has gone further down the globalist road than most other countries, it is time for a new set of priorities that focus on protecting the poor and vulnerable from a greed-based economic doctrine.

- Peter Westmore is Publisher of AD2000.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 20 No 1 (February 2007), p. 2

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