VATICAN CITY, AUG. 24, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The authentic richness of tourism is that it brings cultures into contact, says the Vatican.
The Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers wrote this in its message for World Tourism Day, which will be observed on Sept. 27.
The message comments on the theme “Tourism Enriches,” chosen by the general assembly of the World Tourism Organization.
The message states that “contact with others leads to discovering their ‘secret,’ to being open to them in order to welcome their valid aspects and thus contribute to knowing each one better.”
“This is a lengthy process that aims to shape societies and cultures, making them more and more a reflection of the multifaceted gifts of God to human beings,” adds the text, signed by Cardinal Raffaele Martino and Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, president and secretary, respectively, of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers.
Forms of richness
In this connection, the message says, “tourism enriches precisely insofar as it helps in rendering the so-called rich systems relative and opens them up to the perception of other forms of ‘being rich.'”
“No one is a copy,” the message states. “We are all unique creations and not the result of cloning. We are the expression of the life of another who is the life.”
“Everybody bears the seal of mystery and everyone is marked by desire for the absolute, the trademark indicating that God created us in his own image and likeness,” adds the Vatican council.
The message continues: “And traveling, coming into contact with other places and cultures, seems like a new dawn, a richness offered on the face of each brother and sister, a permanent and perennial gift from God who becomes a pilgrim and visits each of us through the face of his blessed Son.”