Globalization's Challenges for Christians

Conferees in Assisi Focus on Possible Responses

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ASSISI, Italy, AUG. 26, 2003 ( Some cultural and economic forces are trying to weaken ties among people in order to make it easier to peddle products worldwide, warns a commentator.

«The cultural industry and the advertising industry want to create weak ties to impose their own products at a planetary level with greater ease,» said Renato Balduzzi, president of Ecclesial Movement of Cultural Commitment (MEIC).

He made his comment at the MEIC’s annual theological week, which addressed the question «What is a Christian’s responsibility in the global village?»

The meeting, which ended Monday, sought among things to prepare the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, which will be held in Cancun, Mexico, from Sept. 10-14.

«Globalization is not a destiny; it is a challenge,» said Giuseppe Lorizio, a theology professor at the Lateran University of Rome. This is why we are called to direct this change in the light of Christian values, he added.

In this connection, the task of education is of decisive importance, said Luigi Alici, a philosophy professor at the University of Macerata. It is urgent «to rejoin the broken thread between the generations» to give life to a truly solidaristic culture, Alici said.

MEIC president Balduzzi said that Christians must be able «to relate freedom and the search for truth so as not to enclose themselves in false freedoms, which are no more than masks of cultural and economic dependence.»

«True freedom is not the freedom of intense relations or, still less, of any type of relations, but rather the capacity to trace one’s own path of liberation, reinforcing family and work ties, one’s own religious and ethical roots,» he said.

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