Responsibility for the Great Eight

Last week in Genoa, Italy, leaders from eight powerful nations met for the G-8 summit meeting. G-8 is the abbreviation for the "Group of 8" and describes meetings focused on the international monetary situation. Attendees are the heads of state of the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, Russia, Italy, Germany and Canada. The "G" meetings began in 1973 as G-5 meetings with finance ministers from five nations and have grown in membership over the years with heads of state in attendance. The conversations at the Genoa G-8 meeting touched on a broad range of subjects, from monetary policy to tariffs to the more general topic of globalization. These issues are clearly important for the citizens of the G-8 nations. However, all the world is impacted by these issues, and the eight nations of the G-8 have a special responsibility to the citizens of the world, not just their own. As Catholics, we are called to witness to this responsibility and encourage policies and decisions that promote dignity and respect for all members of the human family. More and more commentators talk about how "small" the world is becoming. Technology and information systems make us citizens of the world. We are able to monitor the world - and make a difference. Our globe-trotting Pontiff has shown us this and has been eloquent in his call for solidarity for all people. In a letter sent to the G-8 leaders, Pope John Paul II reminded that "no person or nation be excluded from your concerns" and that you do all you can to "promote a culture of solidarity which will make possible concrete solutions to the problems which weigh most heavily in the lives of our brothers and sisters and in their relations with others." There are many reactions to this call to solidarity, especially in the face of the rapid pace of change. News accounts from Genoa included descriptions of violent protests and the tragic death of one young man. Violence of all kinds must be deplored. Reports indicate that protesters were throwing handmade Molotov cocktails at police. If true, this is not solidarity, not even protest, but anarchy - it has no place for informed, concerned, faithful citizens. Rather, we must educate ourselves and advocate for change. We must come to understand how the world can be positively impacted by the promotion of liberty and the sanctity of life. As Americans, we must avoid exporting our worst values (disrespect for the unborn, capital punishment) in favor of our best values (equality of all, freedom, education). It is not easy, but we must reach out. Yes, we Catholic faithful must hear and respond to the call to solidarity. We have as our model our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and as our earthly shepherd, his vicar Pope John Paul II. Solidarity means prayer and action: We see the way and must respond. In these days of global questions, each of us has a role to play.

A subscription is required to access this content.

Current online and print subscribers, click here to login and view this article.

Please click here to subscribe to the St. Louis Review. You may subscribe to the online edition only or both the online and print editions.

If you already have a subscription and are still unable to access this information, please contact the St. Louis Review.

Why does the St. Louis Review require a subscription to access content online? (Click to view).

No votes yet