Pope John Paul Marx II
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Tue May 2 12:03:10 MDT 2000
Il Pape on global capitalism on May Day
Pope John Paul II has warned of the threat to
basic human rights posed by the global
Speaking at a May Day mass on the outskirts
of Rome for workers from around the world, he
stressed the importance of the individual.
"New realities which
are forcefully affecting
process, such as
globalisation of finance,
of the economy, of
commerce and of work,
should never be
allowed to violate the
dignity and centrality
of the human person or
the democracy of
peoples," he said.
Pope John Paul II called on world leaders to
"tackle economic and social inequality".
"Globalisation is a phenomenon present today
in all aspects of life, but a phenomenon which
needs to be wisely harnessed. It is necessary
to globalise solidarity too," he added.
The Pope frequently addressed the drawbacks
of globalisation in the early years of his
pontificate, saying the process was leaving
many economic orphans in its wake.
He dedicated one of his
major encyclicals to
the rights of workers.
The Pope told the
crowd, which included
delegations of workers
from 54 countries, that
it was necessary to
arrive at what he
guarantees" so that
people were not
protagonists of their
He expressed particular concern for the
unemployed, underemployed and underpaid
during an address from a huge specially built
"I feel very close in spirit to people who are
forced to live in a poverty which offends their
dignity and blocks them from sharing the goods
of the earth and forcing them to feed
themselves with what falls from the table of
the rich," he said.
The Pope is to make an appeal later on
Monday for remission of Third World debt.
The mass was attended by Italy's new
centre-left prime minister Giuliano Amato, who
described the papal participation in May Day
celebrations as "an important development."
"I have always been a fan of the pope," Mr
But some left-wingers were incredulous at the
The Italian trade union movement usually holds
a more explicitly political rally at this site in Tor
Vergata, southwest of Rome on 1 May.
Denouncing the Tor Vergata mass as a
"scandal," the left wing daily Il Manifesto said
the pope's reincarnation as a labour leader
"The pope has appropriated the workers'
festival," it added, before wondering: "Will he
perhaps sing the 'Red Flag'?"
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