VATICAN MESSAGE FOR 2017 WORLD TOURISM DAY

Pope Francis tweeted today: We effectively do good when we do it without seeking reward and in the concrete situations of everyday life.

VATICAN MESSAGE FOR 2017 WORLD TOURISM DAY

“Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development.”

The official celebration of World Tourism Day 2017, organized by the UNWTO, will take place in Doha, Qatar, on September 27, 2017 on the theme “Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development.” This is in the framework of the United Nation’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, has released a message on the theme selected by the WTO for 2017. This is the first such message from the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, as part of its mission.

“When we say tourism,” says the dicastery message, “we are talking about a phenomenon of major importance, both in light of the number of people involved (travellers and workers) and for the many benefits that it can bring to society (economic, cultural and social), but also given the risks and dangers that it can create in many areas.

“According to the World Tourism Organization’s latest barometer, for the year 2016, the number of international tourist arrivals is around 1.2 billion. Worldwide, the sector accounts for 10% of GDP and 7% of total exports, also considering that 1 out of 11 jobs are in tourism. It therefore occupies an important place in the economies of individual states and in policies that focus on inclusive development and environmental sustainability globally.”

“According to the Church’s social doctrine, true development ‘cannot be restricted to economic growth alone’. In fact, ‘to be authentic, it must be well rounded’; that is, ‘it must foster the development of each man and of the whole man’, as the Encyclical Populorum progressio notes. … For the Church, the concept of integrality, when connected to the expression human development, also includes the United Nations’ idea of sustainability, and embraces all aspects of life: social, economic, political, cultural, and spiritual, making them elements in a single synthesis, the human person.”

Tourism “must be responsible, and not destructive or detrimental to the environment or to the socio-cultural context of the locality. Moreover, it must be particularly respectful of the population and their heritage, with a view to safeguarding personal dignity and labour rights, especially those of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Holiday time cannot be a pretext either for irresponsibility or for exploitation.”

“In its 2017 Resolution, the United Nations recognizes ‘the important role of sustainable tourism as a positive instrument towards the eradication of poverty, the protection of the environment, the improvement of quality of life and the economic empowerment of women and youth and its contribution to the three dimensions of sustainable development, especially in developing countries’.”

“…we Christians want to offer our contribution so that tourism can assist in the development of peoples, especially the most disadvantaged. We therefore propose our reflection. We recognize God as the creator of the universe and father of all human beings, and He who makes us brothers. We must put the human person as the focus of our attention; we recognize the dignity of each person and the relationships among persons; we must share the principle of the common destiny of the human family and the universal destination of earthly goods. The human being acts not as a master, but as a ‘responsible steward’.”

“The Church is making its own contribution, launching initiatives that really place tourism in the service of the integral development of the person. This is why we talk about tourism with a human touch, which is based on projects of community tourism, cooperation, solidarity, and an appreciation of the great artistic heritage which is an authentic way of beauty.

At the United Nations, Pope Francis stated: “The common home of all men and women must continue to rise on the foundations of a right understanding of universal fraternity and respect for the sacredness of every human life, of every man and every woman […]. This common home of all men and women must also be built on the understanding of a certain sacredness of created nature’.”

Full Message in English here: http://www.news.va/en/news/vatican-releases-message-for-world-tourism-day-201

ON THAT STRANGE, DISTURBING, AND ANTI-AMERICAN “CIVILTÀ CATTOLICA” ARTICLE

The following article is yet another refutation of the recent article in the Jesuit magazine, Civilta Cattolica, that has led many to write critically about it, often coming to the same conclusion as the title of Samuel Gregg’s piece suggests. I found this riveting on the first reading. A second reading is on my agenda.

Dr. Samuel Gregg is Research Director at the Acton Institute. He has written and spoken extensively on questions of political economy, economic history, ethics in finance, and natural law theory. He is the author of many books, including Becoming Europe (2013) and For God and Profit: How Banking and Finance Can Serve the Common Good (2016).

ON THAT STRANGE, DISTURBING, AND ANTI-AMERICAN “CIVILTÀ CATTOLICA” ARTICLE

It’s curious that whoever signed off on this article (assuming it was properly vetted) at the Secretariat of State didn’t pick up on the authors’ conflation of tangentially related matters, or raise questions about the article’s emotivist tone, or alert Father Spadaro and Rev. Figueroa to their distinctly amateur grasp of American religious history and the finer points of American politics.

Anti-Americanism is as old (if not older) as the American Revolution itself. Like all nations, America has its flaws. But these defects attract disproportionate attention from the rest of the world. This is partly because of the size and worldwide reach of America’s media as well as the United States’ superpower status. On a global scale, the choices made by, say, Argentina and Italy just aren’t as important for international affairs as decisions made by the United States.

Civilta Cattolica – No. 4000

Some of the most insightful analyses of America have been written by non-Americans. The exemplar is Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America (1835/1840). Yet despite the scale and intensity of the attention given to the United States, it’s not hard to find articles written by intelligent non-Americans which reflect serious misunderstandings and occasional outright ignorance of the political, economic and cultural currents shaping America.

This brings me to a very odd article that recently appeared in La Civiltà Cattolica: the Italian Jesuit periodical published twice a month and which enjoys a quasi-official status inasmuch as the Vatican’s Secretariat of State exercises oversight over the articles it publishes. Entitled “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: A Surprising Ecumenism,” its authors Father Antonio Spadaro SJ (Civiltà Cattolica’s Editor-in-chief) and Rev. Marcelo Figueroa (a Presbyterian pastor who is Editor-in-chief of L’Osservatore Romano’s Argentinean edition), make various assertions about specific political and religious trends in the United States: claims which are, at best, tenuous and certainly badly informed.

Consider, for instance, the authors’ analogy between the theological outlook of particular strands of American Evangelicalism and ISIS. As far as I am aware, American self-described fundamentalists are not destroying 2000 year-old architectural treasures, decapitating Muslims, crucifying Middle Eastern Christians, promoting vile anti-Semitic literature, or slaughtering octogenarian French priests. Another questionable contention made in the article is that the Holy Roman Empire was constituted as an effort to realize the Kingdom of God on earth. This particular analysis will come as news to serious historians of that complicated political entity which became, as the saying goes, neither Holy nor Roman nor an Empire.

To read the entire analysis by Samuel Gregg, click here: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2017/07/14/on-that-strange-disturbing-and-anti-american-civilta-cattolica-article/