Globalization Could Devalue Work, Cardinal Warns

Genoa´s Archbishop Awaits G-8 Summit

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GENOA, Italy, MAY 29, 2001 ( He has condemned globalization when seems like a new form of colonialism, and thundered against the risks of exploitation.

Yet, Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Genoa, is extending a hand to the G-8 summit which will be held here in July.

Anti-globalization movements plan to mobilize in Genoa, and the city is abuzz with talk of the mayhem that could result at the summit of the seven major industrialized countries and Russia.

Given the above, special attention was focused on Cardinal Tettamanzi´s address during the annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Protection, a time when the local Church and members of the labor world traditionally cross paths.

During his homily which focused on work, Cardinal Tettamanzi often quoted John Paul II.

«What is needed,» the cardinal said, «is the conviction that work, which we need to live and to be men, must be safeguarded from the many new and old snares that incessantly threaten it, if not in its existence, certainly in its dignity and quality. And today, among these snares, are also those related to the globalization process.»

The relation between work and globalization is difficult, he said.

«It is a decidedly new, ambivalent phenomenon with many implications, with light and dark traces and, in any case, with very important repercussions on the life of individuals and peoples,» the archbishop of Genoa emphasized.

Cardinal Tettamanzi said he fears that work will become one more commodity, «an object of purchase at the lowest possible price, in the great bazaar known as the global village.»

«In this way, new exploitation risks come into being,» he warned, «especially harsh for the poorest peoples, who are the majority of humanity, but also visible among ourselves.»

The cardinal made a proposal: «As work is the weak link in the economic and financial chain, at this stage of globalization it must be safeguarded and protected.»

During the pilgrimage, the cardinal encouraged businessmen and entrepreneurs to try to put into practice that «way of doing business that keeps the human factor in mind.» The labor unions applauded his words.

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