Holy See: Promoting Family Can Build Economy

Points Out That Children Learn Work Ethic at Home

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NEW YORK, FEB. 5, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations is highlighting the family as a primary resource for building the economy and social integration and development.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore stated this Thursday in an address about social integration, which he delivered at the 48th session of the Commission for Social Development of the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Faced to the challenges of social integration in an increasingly globalized world, he said, there is a need to «push further ahead and take into consideration the integral good of the human person in his various dimensions, including the spiritual.»

As well, the prelate added, due to the current economic recession, the social integration discussion «must take into account its link with poverty eradication and full employment, including decent work for all.»

He continued: «In this context, in order to promote economic and social growth along with employment, it seems that the patterns of consumption should be focused upon relational goods and services which promote greater connection between people. 

«By investing in relational goods, such as medical care, education, culture, art, sport — all things which develop a person and require unique human interaction rather than machine production — the state, through its public intervention, would be addressing development at its root, while also promoting employment and long-term development.»

Human relations

The archbishop pointed out that «social development and integration will not come about solely from technological solutions, since they concern primarily human relations.»

«Focusing on human relations necessarily calls for an openness to life which is a positive contribution to social and economic development,» he added.

Archbishop Migliore noted that «often population growth is viewed as the cause of poverty whereas it is a means of overcoming it, for only within the work force can the solution for poverty be found.»

In this light, he said, «promoting life and the family and finding ways to integrate the contribution of all people will allow societies to realize their full potential and achieve development.»

«The family occupies a central place,» the prelate asserted.

It is the place where children first learn «certain skills, attitudes and virtues that prepare them for the labor force and thus allow them to contribute to economic growth and social development,» he explained.

Policies promoting the family should be «based not only on redistribution but above all on justice and efficiency» and should «assume responsibility for the economic and fiscal needs of families,» the archbishop affirmed.

He concluded by pointing out that «civil society and faith based organizations» play an important role in social integration programs, «since they help to ensure the involvement of local communities and promote cooperation and participation of all peoples.»

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