MEXICO CITY, MARCH 30, 2004 ( The Church in the Americas is called "to collaborate with the legitimate means to reduce the negative effects of globalization," says a Vatican official.

Among the negative effects of globalization are the "dominion of the stronger over the weaker, especially in the economic realm, and the loss of the values of local cultures in favor of a misunderstood homogenization," said Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

It is an aspect that enlarges the ecclesial mission "to promote a greater integration among nations, contributing to the creation of a truly globalized culture of solidarity," the Vatican official said Monday at a meeting with professors and students of the Ibero-American University. The school is marking the 60th anniversary of its founding.

In the context of his pastoral visit to Mexico, the cardinal was speaking on the topic of the Church's commitment to the poor in a globalized world.

He referred to the biblical foundations of the Church's preferential option for the poor, according to a statement from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Such an option, never exclusive or discriminatory in regard to other groups, "tends to do everything possible so that entire peoples, who are excluded or marginalized, may enter the circle of economic and human development," Cardinal Martino said.

The Vatican official said that the rich share their surplus with the poor. He also said it is necessary "to change lifestyles, models of production and consumption, and consolidated power structures that rule societies today."

The president of the pontifical council also highlighted the contribution of the Church's social doctrine in the solution of the problems of the globalized economy, pointing out that its moral view on this matter "is based on the three cornerstones of human dignity, solidarity and subsidiarity."