The Jan. 7, 2008 issue of the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero reports:
"The issue of globalization, which has been one of Pope Benedict XVI's primary concerns, will be at the center of his first social encyclical. It has been leaked from the Vatican that the encyclical will be made public on March 19, feast of St. Joseph, patron of laborers. (It will also be the Pope's name day.) Globalization has been a key point in many Papal documents — from an appeal to the G8 during their June 2007 summit, with a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel asking her to urge her colleagues to help Africa more and to forgive debts to poor countries, to his homily during his pastoral visit to Velletri in September, when he denounced globalization carried out only for economic reasons."
On Sunday, January 6, 2008, the solemnity of the Epiphany, the Holy Father issued strong words in his homily:
"Yet, what the prophet (Isaiah) said is also true today in many senses:'thick darkness covers the peoples' » and our history. Indeed, it cannot be said that'globalization'is synonymous with'world order'- it is quite the opposite. Conflicts for economic supremacy and hoarding resources of energy, water and raw materials hinder the work of all who are striving at every level to build a just and supportive world. There is a need for greater hope, which will make it possible to prefer the common good of all to the luxury of the few and the poverty of the many.'This great hope can only be God... not any god, but the God who has a human face'(Spe Salvi, n. 31): the God who showed himself in the Child of Bethlehem and the Crucified and Risen One.
If there is great hope, it is possible to persevere in sobriety. If true hope is lacking, happiness is sought in drunkenness, in the superfluous, in excesses, and we ruin ourselves and the world. It is then that moderation is not only an ascetic rule but also a path of salvation for humanity. It is already obvious that only by adopting a sober lifestyle, accompanied by a serious effort for a fair distribution of riches, will it be possible to establish an order of just and sustainable development. For this reason we need people who nourish great hope and thus have great courage: the courage of the Magi, who made a long journey following a star and were able to kneel before a Child and offer him their precious gifts. We all need this courage, anchored to firm hope. May Mary obtain it for us, accompanying us on our earthly pilgrimage with her maternal protection. Amen!