Category Archives: Guest Writers

Aparecida 78 – Violence

In paragraph 78, the bishops note the rise in violence in the region. Social life, in harmonious and peaceful coexistence, is deteriorating very seriously in many Latin American and Caribbean countries, due to the rise in violence, which takes the … Continue reading

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Aparecida 77 – More On Corruption

Paragraph 70 treated corruption in the context of economics. In paragraph 77, the context is the political. The bishops note how corruption has affected all branches of the government: A major negative factor observable in much of the region is … Continue reading

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Aparecida 76 – Democracy and Social Justice

International financial institutions often place conditions on aid or loans, including “structural adjustments” that at times demand the privatization of public services, the removal of subsidies for basic needs, as well as other conditions that weaken the states’ role in … Continue reading

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Aparecida 75 – Civil Society

Participatory democracy involves more than voting in elections. The bishops see the importance of organized groups that are not part of the government, what is often called civil society. These play a role similar to the “intermediate institutions” that Alexis … Continue reading

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Aparecida 74 – Democracy and Authoritarianism

Continuing their analysis of the reality of Latin American and the Caribbean, the bishops turn to the “sociopolitical dimension, ” an analysis which I find rather optimistic. They first treat what they call “authoritarian regimes” in paragraph 74. The Latin … Continue reading

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Aparecida 73 – Migration

Not too many years ago, most of the Latin American population lived in rural areas. Currently almost 80% live in urban areas. There are a few exceptions, including Guatemala (50.5% rural), Honduras (48.4% rural) and Haiti (47.9% rural). But Brazil has … Continue reading

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Aparecida 72 – Farming

In a short paragraph on farming, 72, the bishops emphasize the poverty of small farmers which is exacerbated by the inequity in the distribution of land. Most small farmers suffer from poverty, made worse by the fact that they do … Continue reading

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Aparecida 71 – Employment

Another real problem in Latin America and the Caribbean is the lack of employment or of sufficient employment. In paragraph 71, the bishops note the importance of this factor. The economically active population of the region is affected by underemployment … Continue reading

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Aparecida 70 – The Plague of Corruption

Corruption is one of the principal problems in Latin America, especially in countries like Honduras and Haiti. A good source for analysis of the issue world wide is Transparency International. Thus an economic analysis of Latin America and the Caribbean … Continue reading

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Aparecida 69 – Financial Institutions

The concentration of income and wealth is, for the bishops, not something that happens haphazardly. As they write in paragraph 69, this happens “primarily through the mechanisms of the financial system.” They criticize the lack of limits on financial investments … Continue reading

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Aparecida 68 – National Financial Concerns

In paragraph 68, the bishops make a brief account of the reasons they see as limiting the funds available for government projects. Although a great deal of progress has been made in controlling inflation and in the macroeconomic stability of … Continue reading

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Aparecida 67 – Free Trade Agreements and More

A short paragraph, 67, expresses the concern for the effects of “free trade agreements” and other pressures on Latin America countries. This paragraph reflects some serious questions that have arisen, but it merely mentions them without doing a detailed analysis. … Continue reading

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Aparacida 66 – Financial Institutions and the Environment

In paragraph 66, the bishops start with an analysis of the growing power of transnational financial institutions and companies to the detriment of the governments in Latin America. Thus development programs are at risk. Financial institutions and transnational companies are … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Aparecida 63 – Small and Medium Businesses

The bishops in paragraph 63, note the importance of small and medium businesses. Though Catholic Social Teaching is very critical of large concentrations of land and wealth – a tradition that goes back to early fathers of the church such … Continue reading

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