Papal Message Warns Against "Impregnable Fortresses" Of Globalization

Address to Social Congress on Latin America and Europe

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 13, 2002 ( process of integration, underway in parts of Europe and other areas of the globe, must not create «impregnable fortresses,» but encourage solidarity, states papal message.

The message, written on behalf of the Holy Father by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, was addressed to the first Social Congress on Latin America and the European Union. The Congress is being held May 13 and 14 in El Escorial, Madrid, by the Episcopates of the two continents.

The message, along with the motto «Together for the Common Universal Good. The Church´s Contribution,» was read at the opening of the Congress by Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro, Apostolic Nuncio in Spain.

Organized by the Commission of Bishops of the Conference of the European Community (COMECE), the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), and the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE), the Social Congress is analyzing the Church´s contribution to closer cooperative relations between Latin America and the European Union, as a stage toward the common good.

According to the papal message, «it is hoped that the present process of rapprochement between nations in the same geographic zone, with similar culture and mentality, will be an important stage toward the ´globalization of solidarity.´»

«Such rapprochement must be carried out with a spirit of openness and respect toward each one of the countries,» the papal message states.

«In fact, if nationalism, which at times certainly exalts itself excessively, was replaced by some wider regional organizations, constructed to serve as authentic impregnable fortresses, humanity would gain little, solidarity would not increase among human beings, nor would the degradation of the created world diminish,» the message explains.

«As opposed to a culture of death, mistrust, and rejection of the other,» the Secretary of State´s letter calls for the promotion of «a culture of truth, trust, and effective commitment to others, especially the needy.»

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