Benedict calls for globalisation of solidarity

Emphasising that "the vast problem of poverty and marginalisation is an urgent challenge", Pope Benedict has called on political leaders to weave "a network of understanding and solidarity among peoples."

Zenit reports that the Pope made the comments to Mario Juan Bosco Cayota Zappettini, the new Uruguayan ambassador to the Vatican, who presented his credentials last Friday.

"Today, the vast problem of poverty and marginalisation is an urgent challenge for political leaders and heads of public institutions," said the Pope in his address during the ceremony.

After expressing his well wishes to the president of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez Rosas, Benedict XVI said that "the so-called process of globalisation has created new possibilities but also new risks, which must be addressed in the wider concert of nations."

"It is an opportunity," he continued, "to be weaving a network of understanding and solidarity among peoples, without reducing everything to merely mercantile or pragmatic exchanges, in which there will also be room for the human problems of every place and, in particular, of emigrants forced to leave their land in search of better conditions of life, which sometimes entails serious consequences in the personal, family and social realms.

"The Church, considering the exercise of charity as an essential dimension of her being and mission, develops in an abnegated way valuable care of the needy of any condition or provenance, and collaborates in this task with the different public entities and institutions in order that no one who is in need of support will lack a friendly hand to help him overcome his difficulty."

The Pope added that the Church "offers her personal and material resources, but especially human closeness which tries to rescue from the saddest poverty, loneliness and abandonment, knowing that love, in its purity and gratuitousness, is the best testimony of the God in whom we believe and who impels us to love."

Meanwhile, Pope Benedict is reportedly also concerned with another kind of solidarity. According to a report in the UK Mirror, the Pope will support Germany for one half of tonight's match and Italy for the other.

Benedict XVI, who was born in Bavaria but has lived in Italy for more than 40 years, supports Bayern Munich.

His personal secretary Fr George Gaenswein said: "The Holy Father is always impartial and so he will be tonight. His heart will be with Germany and Italy." The Pope has tuned into all the games. Fr George said: "When the match against Argentina went to penalties the other night we had to delay dinner so the Pope could watch them."

There is expected to be a lively atmosphere in his apartments during the first semi-final. Fr Gaenswein is supporting Germany while the Pope's four other staff will be cheering for Italy.

The Pope has taken a special interest in the World Cup since organiser Franz Beckenbauer visited him last October. And he's brushed up his soccer knowledge after looking blank when he met Pele. Fr Gaenswein prompted him: "This is Pele Holy Father, the world's greatest footballer."

Pope Says Globalization Can Help Fight Poverty By Setting Up a Network of Solidarity and Understanding (Zenit 3/7/06)
A pope of two halves (Mirror 4/7/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Caritas International
FIFA World Cup

Pope urges solidarity in a globalised world (CathNews 31/8/05)
Caritas says globalisation must include better deal for poor (CathNews 15/7/03)

5 Jul 2006