ROME, JULY 10, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II´s plea Sunday for rich nations to pay attention to poor countries should not be twisted for political reasons, the theologian of the papal household said.
Dominican Father Georges Cottier, the theologian, was quoted in the Italian press Monday as warning: “Be careful not to use the Pope´s words as instruments for party ends.”
At Sunday´s Angelus, the Holy Father said rich nations “must hear the cry of so many poor peoples of the world” who want a rightful share in development. His comments came on the eve of next week´s G-8 summit in Genoa. The Pope is now vacationing in the north of Italy until July 20.
Officials are bracing for anti-globalization protests at the summit of major industrial nations. Sixty Catholic organizations met last weekend in Genoa to pray and reflect on the topics to be discussed at the summit, and they came out strongly against form of violent protests.
The Pope´s comments helped prompt the Italian press to canvass opinions about the summit and about globalization.
Father Giulio Albanese, director of the missionary congregations´ Misna agency, said, “The gap between the North and South continues to grow, and Africa, an enormous mining exploitation in the open air, continues to be the last in economic development.”
Journalist and writer Rino Camilleri contended, “What is important for the Catholic world is to remain firm on fundamental issues, such as the promotion and defense of life.” As regards the need to control globalization, Camilleri said, “If a government is based on pressure groups and multinationals, it is bad. It is good if it is based on solidarity and subsidiarity.”
Giorgio Vittadini, of the Italian nongovernmental organization Compagnia delle Opere, said, “The harmony among Catholic groups is profound. The process of cooperation is irreversible.” Referring to Paul VI´s words, he added: “The real name of peace is development, without embracing mercantilism or neutralism, never egotistical; always in solidarity with the poorest area of the world.”