Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples, Italy recently made a five day pastoral visit to the Italian community in Brooklyn, N.Y. where he called for the “humanization of globalization.”
The cardinal spoke with Italian immigrants from Naples, as well as Italian Ambassador Cesare Maria Ragaglini and Rabbi Arthur Schneier of the Park East Synagogue in New York.
Cardinal Sepe celebrated Mass at the chapel located in the U.N. Headquarters building, together with the apostolic nuncio to the U.N., Archbishop Francis Chullikatt.
In his homily the cardinal stressed the need “to be even more united in order to globalize justice, solidarity and peace,” reported L’Osservatore Romano. “We all know that in the great family of nations there should be no brotherhood without solidarity, without struggling for the common good with the arms of justice.”
For this reason, “every effort must be made to ensure one of the fundamental freedoms, the freedom of religion,” he noted.
Cardinal Sepe also participated in a working breakfast with representatives from the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, founded by Rabbi Arthur Schneier in 1965 to defend religious freedom and human rights around the world. “We have the difficult and exhilarating task of planting the seed of peace, because justice and solidarity can only come from authentic faith,” he added.
“The world is changing because of a process of globalization that emerged as something positive and is making encounter and exchange possible,” the cardinal explained. But today it is dividing instead of uniting peoples and nations, “because economic value has been made the absolute value of globalization.” Amid this atmosphere, “our role as people of faith” becomes even more decisive. “We must humanize globalization,” he said.
The Italian cardinal noted that in these difficult times in which attacks by extremists “threaten every opportunity for an encounter between the different religions, we must work without ceasing.” He emphasized the importance of defending “people of faith who, open to others, see man always as an end and never as a means, and whose sole banner is the banner of peace, which encompasses all peoples.”