Pope Reflects on Citizenship in Globalized World

Says Migration Calls for Mix of Solidarity, Respect for Law

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 14, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is urging Italian administrators to remember the twin concepts of solidarity and subsidiarity as they face the issues of governance in a globalized world. The Pope said this Saturday when he received in audience member of the National Association of Italian Local Authorities, for a traditional meeting between the group and the Bishop of Rome.

The Holy Father opened his address with a reflection on the origin of municipalities, “expressions of a community that meets, engages in dialogue, celebrates and plans together, a community of believers that celebrates the Sunday liturgy, and then gathers in the piazzas of the ancient cities or, in the countryside, in front of the little churches of the village.”

He said that such a need to “dwell in fraternal community” continues today, “in the midst of all the tensions and suffering of modern life.”

The Pope went on to reflect about “unity and plurality,” which he said is not a contradiction, but actually a mutual enrichment, also within the Church.

“Subsidiarity and solidarity — which are typical of the social teaching of the Church — are two principles that permit this harmonious co-presence of unity and plurality,” he said.

His reflection led to praise for the “collaboration that exists in Italy between the civil community and the ecclesial community,” which he contrasted with the situation in other countries, where “Christian minorities are often the victims of discrimination and persecution.”


Benedict XVI also spoke with the Italian public officials about the theme of citizenship. He noted how the Church in Italy is also deepening its reflection on this theme, with activities such as an ecclesial conference in Verona and the Eucharistic congress in Ancona.

“Today citizenship is indeed situated in the context of globalization, which is characterized by, among other things, great migratory movement,” he observed.

In such a context, the Pope said, solidarity and respect for law should be joined together, so that “social coexistence is not imperiled and the principles of law and the cultural and religious tradition from which the Italian nation originates are taken into account.”

He told the politicians that they have a special responsibility in this regard, to promote “solidarity and humanity.”

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-32011?l=english

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