John Paul II Asks Journalists to Gauge the Impact of Globalization

Sends Message to Young Professionals Meeting in Switzerland

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FRIBOURG, Switzerland, SEPT. 18, 2001 ( John Paul II appealed to the news media to study the ethical implications of globalization, in light of the Gospel vision of human dignity.

He made the appeal in a telegram addressed to the young journalists attending a conference organized by the International Catholic Press Union. The event´s theme is “The Media and the Challenge of Globalization.”

The papal message, sent by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, “encourages those present to ponder the significant ethical issues that globalization raises, in the light of the Gospel vision of the inalienable dignity of each human being, the unity of the human family, and the moral imperative of fostering authentic human development and building a world of solidarity, justice and peace.”

The conferences are being given by young journalists, who discuss the impact of globalization on their work. Views vary widely.

“This is the new name of colonialism,” warned Petronilla Samuriwo of the National Herald newspaper of Harare, Zimbabwe.

Geneviève Cornet, head of the Young Swiss Journalists´ Association, replied: “However, the global village is also a great opportunity for us all.” She added: “It allows us to build bridges between the different continents, cultures, and life and work environments. It is up to us to humanize it.”

Réjean Bernier, a young Canadian journalist, observed that poor countries aren´t the only ones who suffer the negative consequences of globalization. “Virtually every day we publish news on important enterprises that close down in order to relocate to countries where manual work is much less expensive,” Bernier said.

Sharon Bradshow, of Trinidad and Tobago, maintained: “In civil society it is necessary to find the strength to direct globalization to the service of man.”

Antoine Issa, media representative in the Lebanese Parliament, said that the Arab world in particular feels the harmful effects of globalization. “This is why we commit ourselves to reaffirm the importance of moral formation, of dialogue between culture, of respect for religious values, and of promotion of democracy and the rights of man,” Issa said.

For more information on the conference, see The conference ends Sunday.

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