Pope: Interdependence Not a Threat, But an Opportunity

Says Pluralism Doesn’t Contradict Joint Search for Truth

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 15, 2011 (Zenit.org).- In an address to 11 new ambassadors to the Holy See, Benedict XVI today said that the interdependence of the human family, brought about by modern technology, is not a threat, but an opportunity.

The Pope said this as he received the letters of credence of: Margaret Allison King-Rousseau of Trinidad and Tobago, Hília Garez Gomes Lima Barber of Guinea Bissau, Paul Widmer of Switzerland, Anatole Bacanamwo of Burundi, Arbhorn Manasvanich of Thailand, Muhammad Saleem of Pakistan, Amadeu Paulo Samuel da Conceição of Mozambique, Tolendy Makeyev of Kyrgyzstan, Jaume Serra Serra of Andorra, Tamara Kunanayakam of Sri Lanka and Joseph Paré of Burkina Faso.

The Holy Father spoke in French, addressing the diplomats as a group, and focusing his remarks on the theme of solidarity as a mainstay for the integral development of peoples.

“In our time the unity of the human family is an undeniable fact,” he remarked. “Thanks to the communications media that bring all regions of the planet together, transport which facilitates human contacts, commercial ties which make economies interdependent, and problems of global importance such as environmental protection and mass migration, human beings have become more aware of their shared destiny. … Mankind must see this interdependency not as a threat but as an opportunity. We are all responsible for one another, therefore it is important to maintain a positive vision of solidarity because it is the driving force of integral human development.”

Benedict XVI specifically highlighted “intergenerational solidarity,” which has its roots in the family. Concern for education and for the destiny of future generations is “a significant contribution to the perception of the unity of the human race,” he said.

“Shared responsibility” for the good of humankind is not opposed to cultural and religious diversity, the Holy Father went on. “The pluralism of cultures and religions does not contradict the joint search for truth, goodness and beauty. … The Church, illuminated and upheld by the light of Revelation, encourages men and women to entrust themselves to a reason which, purified by faith … becomes capable of seeing beyond partisan interests in order to discern the universal good necessary to all human beings: social and religious harmony and peace.”

Benedict XVI said that solidarity fulfills its role of “social virtue” when it is founded on “structures of subsidiarity and on each individual’s firm and unrelenting determination to work for the common good.”

“Justice and solidarity,” the Pope concluded, “cannot be separated from the concept of the integral development of the person. In this sense, highlighting the primacy of the spirit is not only the responsibility of religions, but also of states which must implement cultural policies that promote universal access to the things of the spirit, emphasize the importance of social relationships and never hinder human beings in their free search for spirituality.”

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