Aparecida 64-65 – A Different Globalization

In the middle of this critique of a globalization based on competition and profit as ultimate values, the bishops in paragraph 64 call for a different type of globalization, which has sometimes been called a “globalization of solidarity.”

Hence, faced with this type of globalization, we feel a strong call to promote a different globalization, one characterized by solidarity, justice, and respect for human rights, making Latin America and the Caribbean not only the continent of hope but the continent of love, as Benedict XVI proposed in the Inaugural Address of this Conference.

But such a globalization must be based in an analysis from the standpoint of the poor and marginalized:

This should lead us to contemplate the faces of those who suffer.

This mandate is related, I believe, to the “preferential option for the poor and the marginalized” which has been central to Latin American theology since before the 1967 bishops conference at Medellín.

Who are the marginalized and suffering? A long, but non-exhaustive list follows:

This should lead us to contemplate the faces of those who suffer. Among them are the indigenous and Afro-American communities, which often are not treated with dignity and equality of conditions; many women who are excluded because of their sex, race, or socioeconomic situation; young people who receive a poor education and have no opportunities to advance in their studies or to enter into the labor market so as to move ahead and establish a family; many poor people, unemployed, migrants, displaced, landless peasants, who seek to survive on the informal market; boys and girls subjected to child prostitution, often linked to sex tourism; also children victims of abortion. Millions of people and families live in dire poverty and even go hungry. We are also concerned about those addicted to drugs, differently-abled people, bearers and victims of serious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV-AIDS, who suffer from loneliness, and are excluded from family and community life. Nor do we forget those who are kidnapped and the victims of violence, terrorism, armed conflicts, and public insecurity; likewise the elderly, who, in addition to feeling excluded from the production system, often find themselves rejected by their family as people who are a nuisance and useless. Finally, we are pained by the inhuman situation of the vast majority of prisoners, who also need us to stand with them and provide fraternal aid.  (Emphasis mine)

And thus, the bishops conclude that globalization without solidarity leads to massive social exclusion, in which the excluded are seen as disposable, not needed, surplus.

A globalization without solidarity has a negative impact on the poorest groups. It is no longer simply the phenomenon of exploitation and oppression, but something new: social exclusion. What is affected is the very root of belonging to the society in which one lives, because one is no longer on the bottom, on the margins, or powerless, but rather one is living outside. The excluded are not simply “exploited” but “surplus” and “disposable.”

I find this paragraph to be one of the more poignant paragraphs of the document, one that offers a start for prayer and action for people in Latin America, as well as in Europe and the United States.

Here is the USCCB translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.


About John Donaghy

lay missioner with the Catholic diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras, since June 2007, living and working in the parish of Dulce Nombre de María.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization, Guest Writers, John Donaghy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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