Globalization Calls for Proposals, Not Just Protests, Says Archbishop

Spells Out Criteria on Occasion of Social Forum’s Meeting

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FLORENCE, Italy, NOV. 7, 2002 ( Given the injustices generated by globalization, Christians should respond with the criteria of solidarity and subsidiarity, not violence, an archbishop says.

Archbishop Ennio Antonelli of Florence, whose city is the host through Sunday for the European Social Forum of Anti-Globalization Movements, made his comments earlier this week.

The problem with globalization is not in «demonizing» the market economy, but in exacting and creating «rules and adequate institutions to govern it,» he told the newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Although a number of Catholic institutions are attending the Social Forum, the archdiocese is not participating directly in the debate.

«The forum is supported by many individuals of civil society, extremely different among themselves because of cultural inspiration, direction and objectives,» Archbishop Antonelli said.

«The Church considers that its specific task is to keep high interest and reflection on problems posed by the Social Forum, and to stimulate the concrete commitment of Catholics,» he said.

«The effort to ‘dare’ to present concrete proposals is proper to lay Catholics, as Catholic associations that met in Florence last Sept. 21 did in an admirable way with the manifesto ‘Peace: Essential Condition for Global Development,'» the archbishop added.

For this reason, «lay Catholics and their organizations should decide responsibly whether or not they want to participate» in the forum, he said.

What is important, he said, is «the duty of the laity to be consistent with the doctrine of the Church, both in conduct as well as in positions and proposals that are expressed in the debate, trying not to support cultural positions, behavior, and debatable if not clearly unacceptable operational strategies.»

For this reason, «lay Catholics in the forum must avoid all forms of violence, not just physical but also verbal,» Archbishop Antonelli concluded.

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