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Pope speaks of shared global responsibilities in talk to new ambassadors

Catholic World News - December 15, 2011

In a globalized economy, “we are all responsible for everything,” Pope Benedict XVI said on December 15, as he welcomed 12 new ambassadors to the Holy See.

The Pope explained that “the unity of the human family is an everyday fact” in today’s world, and “significant broadens the scope of our shared responsibility.” Rather than seeing this result of globalization as a threat or a burden, the Pontiff, said, leaders should recognize it as an opportunity to develop “a positive vision of solidarity.”

All peoples share an interest in “social and religious harmony and peace,” the Pope continued; all nations want to eliminate poverty, promote development, and protect human dignity. Working cooperatively, nations can help each other toward those goals. Human reason, the Pope said, “is capable of overcoming the constraints or partisan interest, to recognize the universal good of which all men are in need.”

The Pope said that nations should be conscious of their duties not only to other nations but also to other generations. He stressed the importance of preserving the environment for future generations, and said that education is the most effective way to promote development.

In recent years, Roman Pontiffs have generally given a separate message to each new ambassador, addressing particular themes important to the envoys’ nations. But in this case the Pope to speak to them as a group about common concerns.

The new ambassadors were:

  1. Jaume Serra Serra of Andorra,
  2. Joseph Pare of Burkina Faso,
  3. Anatole Bacanamwo of Burundi,
  4. Hilia Garez Gomes Lima Barber of Guinea Bissau,
  5. Tolendy Makeyev of Kyrgyzstan,
  6. Amadeu Paulo Samuel da Conceicao of Mozambique,
  7. Muhammad Saleem of Pakistan,
  8. Tamara Kunanayakam of Sri Lanka,
  9. Paul Widmer of Switzerland,
  10. Arbhorn Manasvanich of Thailand, and
  11. Margaret Allison King-Rousseau of Trinidad and Tobago.

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  • Posted by: Erik George - Dec. 16, 2011 10:59 AM ET USA

    With due respect to His Holiness, it is my experience that when everyone is called to be "responsible for everything", the end result is that nobody is responsible for anything. It seems that the Pope is unaware that over-emphasis on global "solidarity" goes hand in hand with the abdication of solidarity at the level of family, community, and polity. Focusing on global solidarity is like painting a house held up by rotting timbers.

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