Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 17, 2003
Poverty a weapon of mass destruction - cardinal
Globalization leading to a dead end, he says
By AGOSTINO BONO
"Peace is possible," but to bring it about Christians must "be awakened from sleep."
- Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga
"It is not rational that a cow in the European Union is worth US$2.50 (a day) and in Japan US$7 a day when 1.2 billion human beings survive with less than a dollar a day," he added.
"The free trade treaties with protectionism and subsidies are going nowhere," he said.
Foreign debt "is still there as a tombstone over many of our nations," said the cardinal.
The Christian answer to a globalized economy is to globalize solidarity with the poor, he said.
Rodriguez did not mention Iraq, but said, "Listening to the drums of war, it is not possible to be sleepy."
Building peace "seems to be a mission impossible" right now, he said.
"Peace is possible," he said, but to bring it about Christians must "be awakened from sleep."
Rodriguez told Catholic News Service after the prayer service that the G-8 group of wealthy nations "does not want to cancel the debt" of poor countries.
But he saw some hope in a recent decision by creditor nations to cancel a big chunk of Nicaragua's debt. The cardinal tied the move to the Nicaraguan government's campaign to fight corruption and said that fighting corruption helps underdeveloped countries argue for debt reduction.
The cardinal has been a major Church advocate at international forums for foreign debt reduction.
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