Pope John Paul Marx II

Chris Doss itschris13 at SPAMhotmail.com
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
              the productive
              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
              called "ethical
              guarantees" so that
              people were not
              instruments but
              protagonists of their
              own future.

              He expressed particular concern for the
              unemployed, underemployed and underpaid
              during an address from a huge specially built
              altar platform.

              "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.

              Unions' disbelief

              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
              Amato added.

              But some left-wingers were incredulous at the
              Pope's appearance.

              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
              beggared belief.

              "The pope has appropriated the workers'
              festival," it added, before wondering: "Will he
              perhaps sing the 'Red Flag'?"
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