Globalization and the chance of cultural unification
In his address to the Madagascar authorities, Pope Francis summarized his convictions on political responsibility, poverty, care for creation and the duty to respect the special values of the peoples.
By Andrea Tornielli
The speech given to the political authorities of Madagascar on the morning of September 7, 2019 in the Presidential Palace of Antananarivo is one of the speeches that best sums up the message of the Church’s social teaching, enriched by the documents of the Magisterium of Pope Francis.
As the Pope walked the streets of the capital, Antananarivo, he could see with his own eyes the widespread poverty, the huts and the children bending over to knead bricks. But he also saw the joy of the Malagasy people, who testify that it is not always possible to calculate statistics according to Western consumption standards.
In his speech, Pope Francis first of all recalled the task of politics, which has the mandate to serve and protect its fellow citizens, “especially the weakest” and the poorest, and to promote decent and just development that is “integral”, and not just economically.
He promoted efforts in the fight against corruption and speculation, which “always create conditions of inhuman poverty”. He then recalled the beauty and wealth of natural resources on the largest island on the African continent, threatened by poaching and deforestation.
The Pope affirmed that the environmental crisis and the social crisis are inextricably linked – in fact, they are the same complex crisis – as the encyclical Laudato si ‘teaches. He declared that there can be no real environmental protection without social justice in order to guarantee the right to the common destination of the world’s goods: the poor must not and cannot pay the price of environmental protection policy.
Finally, Pope Francis devoted a significant part of his speech to globalization and the risk that countries like Madagascar face in terms of aid from international organizations, which “can become a presumed ‘universal culture’ that despises, submerges and represses cultural heritage “. individual peoples. “
He said it can end up homogenizing uniqueness, values, lifestyles and cultures. Instead, we need processes that respect people’s priorities and lifestyles and ensure that people themselves become the architects of their own destiny.