As part of their effort to “see” the reality of Latin America, before judging, and making proposals for action, the bishops examine the economy.
The bishops see the economic situation of Latin America and the Caribbean in the light of globalization.
They begin this section, in paragraph 60, with Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks about globalization, delivered at the beginning of the Aparecida conference.
Globalization is about the inter-relationship of all parts of the planet:
In his Inaugural Address, the pope views globalization as a phenomenon “of relationships extending over the whole planet.
This is a human achievement. The bishops, at first, seem to see globalization as a good that brings advanced technologies, markets, and financing for the improvement of the continent, especially in terms of urban development and the presence of a middle class that is technologically literate:
[Pope Benedict] considers [gloablization] an “achievement of the human family” because it favors access to new technologies, markets, and financing. The high growth rates of our regional economy, and particularly its urban development would not be possible without opening to international trade, access to cutting-edge technologies, the participation of our scientists and technicians in the international development of knowledge, and the high investment in electronic media. All this also entails the rise of a technologically literate middle class.
What is especially important for the bishops – in line with Pope Benedict – is the deep desire for unity which underlies the quest for globalization and globalization expresses:
Globalization likewise expresses the deep aspiration of the human race for unity.
But globalization has it shadow side, particularly monopolies and the primacy given to profit.
Despite these advances, the pope also points out that globalization “brings with it the risk of vast monopolies and of treating profit as the supreme value.”
In this light, globalization must be judged ethically, in particularly in regard to how it serves the human person.
Hence, Benedict XVI stresses that as in all areas of human activity, globalization too must be led by ethics, placing everything at the service of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God.
The remainder of this chapter will analyze the consequences of some aspects of globalization, particularly its economic aspects: 61: inequities; 62: concentration of power; 63: vulnerability of small businesses; 66: environmental issues; 67: free trade and other agreements; 68: limitations on public budgets; 69: concentration of income and wealth; 70: corruption; 71: unemployment and underemployment; 72: small farmers; 73: migration.
In the middle of this section paragraphs 64 and 65 call for a globalization of solidarity, looking on those who suffer.
Here is the USCCB translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.