The encounter of two worlds
For a more humane global society founded on solidarity

SAN LORENZO DE EL ESCORIAL (MADRID), May 14, 2002 ( Presidents of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) and the Commission of the Bishops´ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) today sent a joint contribution to the Second Summit of Heads of State and Government from their regions, to take place in Madrid on May 17-18, 2002.

The translation of the original Spanish document was published by COMECE.

Dear Mr President,
As representatives of the Catholic Church in Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union, we have met at El Escorial for a Social Congress in advance of the Second Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held in Madrid on May 17-18. During our discussions we noted that in both North and South we are affected by poverty, violence, terrorism, drug trafficking, corruption, political instability and the fragility of some democracies. We are inspired by the search for spirituality, meaning, humanization and new answers in various spheres in this era of profound change for humanity.
We recognize the strong links that exist between Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe, which in their light and shade, encourage us to look forward with optimism to a future of mutual co-operation between our Churches and our peoples. It must be recognized that whilst Europe and Latin America necessarily view the globalized world from two different angles, they do so with a common aim based on more than five centuries of dialogue.
The results of this dialogue are the basis for the firm engagement to continue working to deepen the process of humanization.
The encounter between two worlds has not concluded. In these days we have sought to reflect on the most immediate political, economic, and social challenges, as detailed in the following pages. We have identified the need to:
a. Give priority to the social dimension of economic development, above all the fight against poverty and the creation of jobs;
b. Combat both public and private corruption, including the laundering of profits from drug trafficking, by promoting an ethics of responsibility in business;
c. Ensure through effective political and legal instruments the protection of the environment, the damage of which affects all humanity;
d. Make our structures of governance capable of meeting the challenges of globalization, including the modernization of the State, more effective structures of regional integration and global co-operation, and the strengthening of democratic stability based on participative citizenship as expressed through an ever more active and responsible civil society.
We assure you of our best wishes and prayers for the success of this summit.
Yours sincerely

+ Jorge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal
President of CELAM
+ Josef Homeyer
President of COMECE

El Escorial, 14 May 2002
Translation of Spanish Original published by COMECE