Globalization Can't Make Us Brothers, Says Pope

Addresses Ambassadors on Value of Fraternity

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 20, 2010 ( Though the process of globalization brings human beings closer to one another, it cannot make them brothers, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope made this observation on Thursday when he received letters of credence from the new ambassadors to the Holy See of Nepal, Zambia, Andorra, the Seychelles and Mali. 

The Holy Father noted how the international community responds to natural disasters, such as the earthquake in Haiti. This is aid, he said, that «it would be appropriate to continue and to intensify.» 

Still, he continued, the «beautiful ideal of fraternity […] has found in the development of philosophical and political thought less resonance compared with other ideals such as liberty, equality, progress and unity. It is a principle that to a large extent has remained a dead letter in modern and contemporary political societies.» 

For Christians, the Pontiff said, fraternity has a particular meaning, due to God’s design of fraternal love revealed by Christ. 

«To live worthily, every human being needs respect: he also needs justice to be done, and his rights recognized in a concrete way,» Benedict XVI told the ambassadors. «However, this is not enough to lead a fully human life: in fact, a person also has need of fraternity. This is true not only in close relations but also on a global scale. 

«However, although the process of globalization under way brings human beings closer to one another, it does not, because of this, make them brothers. It is an important problem because, as my predecessor Pope Paul VI revealed, ‘underdevelopment has as its profound cause the lack of fraternity.'» 

A gift 

The Pope noted how reason alone is capable of recognizing men as equal, «but it is incapable of instituting fraternity.» 

«This,» he explained, «is a supernatural gift.» 

«For her part, the Church sees the realization of human fraternity on earth as a vocation contained in God’s creative plan, who wishes that she be ever more faithfully the maker of that fraternity, both in the universal ambit and well as the local ambits,» the Holy Father stated. 

The Church’s concern, he said, is not just for «her disciples,» but for all people. 

The Church «makes an effort to put love and peace at the base of the many human bonds that relate persons among themselves, as God has willed in his creative wisdom,» the Pontiff affirmed. 

Gratitude and respect 

Benedict XVI proposed that fraternity finds a «concrete expression in gratitude and respect.» This should be manifested even in economics, he added, «one of the areas of greatest cooperation between men.» 

The Pope continued: «Every form of gift is, in a word, a sign of the presence of God, because it leads to the fundamental discovery that, at the origin, everything is given. Such an awareness does not make man’s conquests less beautiful, but liberates him from the first of all slaveries, that of wishing to create himself. 

«On the contrary, in acknowledging what he is given, man can open himself to the action of grace and understand that he is called to develop himself, not against others or at their expense, but with them and in communion with them.» 

Fraternity, in fact, is «an end in itself,» the Holy Father said. «The Church believes in Christ who reveals to us that God is love. She is also convinced that to all those who believe in divine charity, God gives the certainty that ‘the way of love is open to all men and that the effort directed to establishing a universal fraternity is not in vain.'» 

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