Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of the Migrants and Itinerant People
Archbishop Agostino MARCHETTO
Secretary of the Pontifical Council
enough to say that our 21st World Congress is the first of a
new Millennium of the Christian era to understand its importance and its
perspectives. This is reaffirmed by the theme we have chosen, “Apostleship of
the Sea in a New Globalized World”. We have to keep together these two
realities: apostleship (that is presence, incarnation, salvation,
evangelisation, celebration of the Word of God and of the Sacraments) and our
world, our human and universal family, which is nowadays more and more
characterised by globalization. In other words, there is the necessity to
maintain our specificity – to be found in Lumen Gentium of the Vatican Council, for the vision of the Church ad
intra, and in Gaudium et Spes in its presentation of the Church ad extra - and to take into
consideration the new world which is about to be born at the beginning of this
Third Millennium. May I exhort you in this perspective to read again Novo
Our point of reference
remains specifically, in the context of the documents of the Vatican Council,
the Apostolic Letter Stella Maris. The
real value of this Letter is that it provides a basic structure for our work ,
and, very usefully, draws attention to the basic call within which the
Christians, who form the “People of the Sea”, can live out their baptismal
vocation and truly be the Church incarnated in the maritime world.
Therefore, in spite of the
‘newness’ here of our dialogue and discussions, of structures, of
globalization, and of the millennium, it is important to realise that there is a
continuity with the past, something which
does not change, that cannot change, and that we do not have to change. This in
so even if, in present historiography, after the great vision of continuity
proposed by Braudel and the “School of the Annales”, we have an exaltation
of the “event”, as something new, revolutionary and extraordinary.
We, especially in the
Catholic Church, also have to stress - as I have said –Tradition (with capital
T), I repeat, continuity.
In fact the mission
entrusted by Jesus to his Apostles has been, remains now and will continue to
be, the one and same mission for all time and place. We are sent on our mission,
in virtue of our baptism, to live the life of love and reconciliation, which
Jesus shares with us, and to witness to the Father’s tenderness and
Because of this
continuity, I would like to remark here that the Apostolatus Maris logo and
the traditional name of Stella Maris,
for our Centres, have to be maintained everywhere.
Pope John Paul II envisages the ‘People of the Sea’ as forming the Church in
the maritime world, and the fullness of Church requires a Successor to the
Apostles, a Bishop, in communion with the apostolic Collegium, “cum Petro
et sub Petro” and his
successor today, Pope John-Paul II.
Since our Pontifical Council has been delegated a sharing in his solicitude we
have to consider the specific role of the Bishops in A. M.
It is particularly
gratifying that many Bishops have come to this Congress and taken an active part
in it. In fact, in Rome, I started my interview about this Congress to Vatican
Radio by daring to say that it will be a small “synod”. The Apostolic Letter
recognises the role of the Bishop-Promoter of A.M., which is to pastorally
oversee, through the National Chaplain or Director, the ministry of A. M. in the
territory of his Episcopal Conference.
I therefore thank the
Bishop – Promoters, both those here present and all others, for their efforts.
The local Bishop, the Bishop of the port, has a vital role especially because he
ultimately appoints the local Chaplain, who is basic for the A. M.
We encourage of course our brothers in the episcopate to urge all Bishops
to recognise and stress the presence and action of A. M. in their
dioceses, especially the
maritime ones. It is a fact that there are ports, some of them major ports, and
indeed whole regions, where A. M. does not exist or exists in a relatively weak
This is true especially
for Latin America, and we hope that the celebration of our Congress in Rio will
help the Ecclesia in America start
anew its ecclesial service to the maritime world.
The presence here, with
Bishops, priests, deacons, religious men and women, of a great and qualified
number of lay people gives me the opportunity to stress their important and
specific role in A. M., “servatis
servandis” in ecclesiastical terminology.
They will become more and
more necessary, also because of the lack of ordained ministers in many parts of
the world. This growing engagement in the service of evangelisation and human
promotion merits a particular attention, as both are very deeply linked.
In this context may I add
that the Apostolic Letter Stella Maris
states that relations between A. M.
and International Organisations with similar aims pertains to our Pontifical
Unity in diversity
A. M. works in somewhat different ways in various countries, cultures and
situations. World-wide, A. M. is not to be seen as a pyramid, operating from the
top downwards in uniformly structured ways at all levels and in all places.
Rather-to use the happy image of Card. Cheli at the end of last Congress- “it
is like a galaxy of stars, no two exactly alike, some very large and bright,
others smaller and dimmer, but none the less shining and giving light and heat.
It is like a confederation (or communion, to say it more theologically) of
various initiatives by local Churches and by the
Church on board, all of them animated by the same Spirit, the Spirit Who
proceeds from the Father and the Son, given to us, through faith, in baptism,
and sharing in the one and same mission”.
In this mission we are not
alone, and so Rev. Berend van Dijken and Rev. Sakari Lehmuskallio helped us
beautifully to put ourselves in the spirit of ecumenical cooperation, essential
in confronting the challenges of globalization, sharing, all of us, in the
pastoral care of Mr. Eddie Luceno, Ms. Karen Lai, Ms. Maria Terezinha da Costa
and Mr. Tony McAvoy, in their own specific role.
To end this part of my
concluding talk, may I remind you to stress the importance of the Pastoral of
the Sea, that the 15th Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for
the pastoral care of Migrants and Itinerant People, which took place from 29th
april to 1st May this year in the Vatican, reflected on the pastoral
opportunities and challenges arising from the world of human mobility, which is
intimately bound with the vastness of the sea and on the means to address them
(see “People on the Move” N. 88-89).
In his address the Holy
Father encouraged us to recognise the many opportunities to bring the presence
of Christ the Good Shepherd and his
Good News into the roads and sea lanes of humanity as well to promote
respect for the dignity of the individuals, families, environment and cultures
that are linked to the sea.
Among the conclusions of
the Plenary Assembly, may I quote the following ones:
Human mobility is an increased feature of globalization. Because of this there
are new barriers and challenges to be faced, in which God also offers us new
pastoral possibilities. The Church must accept these new challenges by being the
good Samaritan on the roads and
sea lanes of humanity, promoting solidarity in migration, likewise through the
exercise of charity.
into consideration the theme of the Plenary, "Relationships between Sea
and Migration and between Sea and Tourism," the sea stands out as the means
of transportation in a new era of migration unitìng people of all continents in
fraternity, dialogue, and commerce but, at the same time, provoking xenophobic
and even racist reactions when it carries asylum-seekers and migrants, and
hiding the daily human drama of seafarers and fisher folk.
- on the shores and at sea - is also constantly increasing as a feature of
globalization, again with positive and negative aspects for the people and
places that host tourists and for these visitors themselves.
Since human mobility is by definition a phenomenon of movement and change
that expands almost uncontrollably beyond usually conceived boundaries,
cooperation and solidarity on the international and regional levels needs to be
newly emphasized. That applies also to the Church, whose Lord likewise calls
every one of its members to promote communion, solidarity and cooperation,
especially in this field, among particular and local Churches as well as in the
ecumenical and inter-religious arena.
Evermore evangelization in the Third Millennium demands renewed thrust and
pastoral planning according to the letter and the spirit of Novo Millennio
Ineunte. In the growing world of tourism, that means assuring the Pilgrim Church
is present, to make tourism more worthy of human beings, breathing a new spirit
into it, offering occasions for new encounters with God and brothers and sisters
of other cultures and religions. In this way tourism will contribute to the
dialogue among civìlizations. This could
be considered a kind of new evangelizatìon, in which the lay faithful will have
special responsibilities, also with the contribution of the ecclesìal
The Church in a globalized world is called in every way to intensify its
role as promoter and animator of solidarity and respect for human dignity and
fondamental rights, which are so often threatened also by new forms of slavery
and exploitation. This role likewise extends to regard for cultures and cultural
identities, sacred places, including those of other religions, and the
Globalization and A.M.
Our calling to witness our
baptism is realised in a changing world – we have heard –, in changing and
indeed rapidly–changing circumstances. In one word we call it
We heard, after having had
the “Setting the Theme” by our President, the intervention of Fr. Dr. Joel
Portella Amado, combining “Globalization and Faith”. The phenomenon of
particular interest during this Congress was seen and referred to us by the
representatives of the AOS Regions, a remarkable vision, which was completed
with an historical background from the “Padroado” presented by Fr. Dr.
Edvino A. Steckel.
We also experienced deeply
in ourselves the consequences of
globalization in today’s seafarers and families, in
those who work in industrial fishing, and also in small scale and
traditional fishing, not forgetting the cruise industry in rapid
development, in the context of some perspectives of globalization. We
have listened to experiences, studies and excellent presentations through the
kind and wise presence of Hon. Peter Morris, Mr. Jeremy Turner, Mr. David
Ardill, Rev. Bruno Ciceri, Ms. Josette Laharrague, Ms. Engracia Micayabas, Mr.
Antonio Fritz, Mr. Claudio Décourt, Fr. Thomas X. Kocherry, Mr. Félix
Randrianasoavina, Fr. João van der Heijen, Deacon Renato Causa, Dr. Minghua
Zhao. We have also shared in the tragic situations of the abandoned seafarers
and have been informed about “shore leaves and identity documents” thanks to
the expertise of Mr. Angel Llorente and Mr. Douglas B. Stevenson. Heartfull
thanks to everyone.
A very moving part of our
Congress has been the personal statements or testimonies presented by
individuals. We could say: Here are the “People of the Sea” talking about
These testimonies, especially in the workshops (with eight topics), together with much of the content of Regional Reports, have given freshness and realism to our analysis. The maritime world is first of all most a world of people, not just of fish, transport and industrial concerns, people who more and more feel they are “small people” and getting even smaller in a world of big business, big money, (the financial aspect of globalization is the biggest one and the most significant of the phenomenon) and big ships.
So often, as we have heard, they consider themselves unimportant, marginalized, forgotten. Through the flags-of-convenience system and in other ways, they are exposed to injustice and exploitation.
I make an appeal from this
Congress to all A. M. people around the world that they continue to welcome,
serve and support all seafarers, whatever their differences of culture,
nationality and religion, and stand by them and help them in solidarity in their
struggles for justice. This will only be a small seed of a new world, more human
and more fraternal, but an important seed.
It is wonderful when this
can be done, through a Stella Maris
Centre or an ecumenical Seafarers’ Centre as a base. I want it to be clearly
said, that the work of A. M. does not depend only on such buildings and, what is
more, the buildings cannot replace what is really important: a welcoming heart.
Chaplaincy teams can be formed from among the members of parishes in port
cities, big and small, in fishing villages and coastal communities, and so on.
These teams, with the guidance and support of the local priest and from the
National Director of A. M., can live out that basic Christian Mission by welcoming
seafarers and visiting ships in port. This desire and exhortation were
expressed five years ago during the 20th Congress and are still actual
and important. Let us hope that during the next five years there will be a
multiplication of such “small” A. M. groups.
From “small” groups to bigger ones...
The rapid improvement in
communications through fax machines and e-mail means that co-ordination and
co-operation ( we could also say “communion”) between A. M. Organisations in
different Countries and regions will become easier. We offer
thanks to the Regional Coordinators for their work up to now, likewise in
preparation, for this Congress. Over the years the role and the work of the
Regional Coordinators will become,
more and more important. I wish them courage and strength.
Globalization in general and its “governance”
Even if I am not an
economist, after having considered globalization particularly under the aspect
of negative consequences for our “brothers and sisters of the Sea” (with an
implicit appeal to globalize solidarity ), I would like to encourage you to
overcome the temptation to pass an ideological judgement on this phenomenon.
Here the Teaching of Pope
John-Paul II, can be very helpful.
In his speech to the
members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences on 27th of
April, last year, the Holy Father said: “Globalization, a priori, is neither
good nor bad. It will be what people make of it. No system is an end in itself
and it is necessary to insist that globalization, like any other system, must be
at the service of the human person; it must serve solidarity and the common
good”. I shall add another short passage of the above-mentioned speech, which
is very significant: “Globalization must not be a new version of colonialism.
It must respect the diversity of cultures. As humanity embarks upon the process
of globalization, it can no longer do without a common code of ethics”.
May I add some
considerations of the Magisterium on “governance” of this globalization.
And here, since I come
from Vicenza (Italy), I take pleasure in starting, first of all, with the speech
by Pope John Paul II to the participants of the meeting organized by the
Foundation “Ethics and Politics” of Bassano del Grappa. The summarizing
title in L’Osservatore Romano seems
to me well-chosen and significant: “Globalization of solidarity is needed by
means of a new culture, new norms, and new institutions, both at national and
international levels” (Italian edition, 18 May 2001, page 4).
The need for a “world
political authority” has been mentioned by the late Card. F. X. Nguyên Van
Thuân. He emphasized that governance
does not mean automatically government.
[ Here are his very words:
of the new economy needs, however, also juridical and political structures, able
to direct the huge potentialities of the common good. This is to be done, aware
that the human being, as the Centesimus annus claimed, is at the same
time ‘a saint and a sinner’. The Social Doctrine of the Church continues to
support the need of a “public authority with a world-wide sphere of
activity” (John XXIII, in Pacem in Terris, 137). This is most in demand today since the
phenomena of the new economy are, precisely, world-wide. But governance
does not automatically mean government.
The principles of graduality and subsidiarity imply both a realism with which to
proceed by increasing the present international instruments, improving their
performance and mutual relations and making the various participants more
responsible and empowering them to act. We can see the necessity of increasing
the ‘coordination among the more powerful countries’ (John Paul II, Centesimus
Annus, N.58), to transfer the knowledge and technology to the poor
given ‘the easy transfer
of resources and of means of production’ (John Paul II, Speech
to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences of the 25th April 1997,
N.4) enabled by new technologies, coordination which can facilitate today those
processes of subsidiary solidarity, to better recall the initiative of the
International Financial Institutes with authentic needs of the poor Countries
and the actors of the civil society of these Countries” (L’Osservatore
Romano, Italian edition, 9-10 July 2001, page 8)].
[So] the dialectic between
global and no global is abstract and ideological. In fact much of the present
debate on globalization and its causes and effects is distorted by prejudices,
etymologically speaking, which seem to follow a tradition of mechanics based on
the dynamic analysis of impersonal forces, [as it was asserted, not a long time
ago, by Prof. Simona Beretta, whose thoughts I am here referring to].
In very simplified terms,
it is as if two major currents are being confronted: on the one hand, the
“laissez-faire” neo-capitalistic current supporting a globalization that is
present in the DNA of the economic processes, where the “market” goes beyond
the national boundaries creating huge accumulation of wealth (and keeping in
mind that only after having created as much wealth as possible, will it be
possible then to distribute it). On the other hand, the no
global current resists this market trend for the sake of anti-market
objectives, because the world is not “on sale”.
[These two positions, and
the broader conflict between them, follow the track of an ancient debate between
“State” and “market”, to take the approach in a simple way.
These two social realities were seen as two absolutely opposite entities, each one dominated by a rationality of its own, and both in a natural contradiction one with the other. So in the debate at that time, “more State” would have meant “less market” and vice-versa.
But both positions suffer
from the same drawback as we said: they excessively trust in “providential”
mechanisms (the State, for some of them, and free markets, for others) to
satisfy human needs. We don’t know of the existence of easy recipes to reach
these desires that take shape in conditions of “strong” uncertainty and find
no answer in the “providential” mechanisms. The answer can only be found
thanks to the reality of time and taking risks that is desired as something one
wagers on and carried out in freedom and responsibility by an “actor” who
interacts with others].
The neo-capitalistic laissez-faire
and the no global movements
stand behind opposite barricades, but from the cultural point of view, they are
the offsprings of the same bad anthropology and the same partial vision of
economic and political dynamisms. [Nevertheless, it is important to restore a
principle of reality: it is not true that the anonymous and impersonal markets
produce the best of the welfare, because the most important transactions (those
affecting the investments and the credit) have to deal with time as well as
uncertainty and can easily take place into a personalized relationship which is
most likely to last. For the same reason, it is not true that the State produces
the maximum of the social well-being: the State as well does not have all the
information needed to make the right choices and is not gifted with a
What seems to be a more
realistic perspective is to focus on the importance of the deliberate actions of
the various “actors”, in the economic field, especially the most numerous
ones, the social interaction modalities and the emerging and functioning
institutions. In this scenario we can make out three categories of “actors” who can push forward or oppose
international integration processes: the national States, with “actors” of
the domestic politics; the economic integration “actors”; and the democratic
Let’s try to outline the
fundamentals that create an interaction between markets, governments and the
civil society, in economic integration processes. It can be represented in
synthesis, by the significant image of an “incompatible trio”. It is as if
the globalized present world is confronted by three different forces, each one
justified in itself but not in harmony with the other two (for further reference
see D. Rodrik, “How Far Will
International Economic Integration
Go? in Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 14 (2000), N. 1, pp.
[The first of these forces
is the tendency by the national States, (i.e. the present holders of the
political power and of some economic power) to keep their sovereignty in their
hands. The second force is the tendency to a deeper and deeper integration of
the markets related to goods and services, as well as of the structures and
factors of production, and especially of the financial markets. A third
important force, which can be summarized under the title of “democratic
participation” in the economic and political events of globalization,
expresses itself in different and multiple modalities. They vary from opposition
to the globalization processes to the attempt to guide them by means of
consensus (from the part of public influence, tending to be global) of those
groups with particular interests and requirements or to the participation by the
non-governmental organizations in the decisions of international institutions.
The “incompatible trio” principle affirms that these three forces can find
an institutionally balanced position if taken in groups of two, but not the
three of them together, unless helped by a favourable ‘astral’ conjunction.
For instance, the economic
integration objective entails a multiple choice, actually double, that is
keeping the Nation-State, which will assist in reducing its actual economic
influence, while still ruling and
exploiting most domestic resources.
The other alternative
consists in the progressive replacement of a national approach to regulation and
economic policies by a system of so called “global federalism”,
characterized by a political participation of the masses. Civil society here
becomes the supranational government main interlocutor.
Similarly, a government
characterised by a large number of groups focused on various interests compels
us to select between two alternatives: either the participation and safeguard of
interests by those groups within the Nation-State that renounce economic
integration (and adopt protectionist politics where the open markets harm the
domestic interests) or, vice-versa, participation in the world governance
processes with laws and institutions setting the range of market
Again, if we want to
preserve the Nation-State in its area of economic supremacy, we may choose
between political participation of the masses and economic integration. In fact
a country which is well integrated in the international markets of goods and
capital can keep a firm control on its economic resources provided that the
“game rules” of the global market are respected and that it can resist the
opposition of the third force represented by those pressure groups that feel
endangered by global integration of markets (see the developed countries’
trade-unions or even the sectors of the domestic production traditionally
protected by national politics).
In the incompatible
“trio pattern”, what does the trend to economic integration produce, after
having been introduced by the free enterprise supporters? It depends essentially
on the choice of the force which has been selected as an ally. In the
“first” globalization, the allied force, supported by entrepreneurs,
merchants and bankers, still clearly “national”, was each national State. It
was not by chance that their ally found its institutional stability due to the
dramatic reduction, at that time, of the expressions of a democratic
participation (limited voting right, side role of the trade-union
Organizations). On account of the dependence of the national State force on the
one of the national enterprises, the institutional situation was weakened by the
possibility of conflicts among Nation-States in order to defend national,
political and economic interests (conflicts which actually and dramatically
appeared). Nowadays, perhaps, the prevailing tendency towards the economic
integration, brought about by “actors” now loosely bound to a particular
Nation-State, could anticipate a completely different institutional scenario,
where the Nation-States would find themselves in competition to gain the
localization of production on their territory.
This would mean
a “downwards rush” scenario complying with work and environmental
standards, in capital taxation and in profits. This is not particulary
attractive, especially for business people; but, to look further, this pattern
can be avoided by strengthening supranational governance processes and by
reducing the Nation-State to a “smaller space”, thus improving their
capacity, from an organizational point of view, to be respectful of social
Therefore I conclude,
there is not only one globalization, loved or hated according to the preliminary
neo-capitalistic or no global
opinions, and this is worthwhile to note.
[They come at least in two
different, elementary ways, according to the interaction resulting from the
three forces that have been identified.
Maybe, mine is a too long
and difficult analysis about this matter of great concern, but] it is necessary,
I think, not to be too simplistic in our approach about globalization and to
avoid an ideological vision. Ideologies are over…in spite of everything, as is
attested in the following passage of the Holy Father’s Message for the World
Day of Peace, January 1st, 2000. I quote:
There is urgent need to reconsider
the models which inspire development policies.
In this regard, the legitimate requirements of economic efficiency must be better aligned with the requirements of political participation and social justice, without falling back into the ideological mistakes made during the twentieth century. In practice, this means making solidarity an integral part of network of economic, political and social interdependence which the current process of globalization is tending to consolidate.
These processes call for rethinking
international cooperation in terms of a new culture of solidarity. When seen
as a sowing of peace, cooperation cannot be reduced to aid or assistance,
especially if given with an eye to the benefits to be received in return for the
resources made available. Rather, it must express a concrete and tangible
commitment to solidarity which makes the poor the agents of their own
development and enables the greatest number of people, in their specific
economic and political circumstances, to exercise the creativity which is
characteristic of human person and on which the wealth of nations too is
This is a great task
[experts, decision makers and leaders will need the courage to find
opportunities for lasting relationships, inclusive and involving. Any economic
enterprise, as well as any political initiative, if it is to be born and grow,
needs first a friendly approach and
an awareness that there are risks and that we are putting ourselves at stake.
This is the way to do business. And in this way, the polis – and maybe the world – will become a better place to
Where do we go
I think that here lies at
least part of the answer to the question that is now on our lips: Where do we go
from Rio de Janeiro?
We think a
lot of important work has been done at this Congress, both here on the
rostrum and behind the scenes. We believe the Spirit was blowing in Rio
especially during these days
of analysis, prayer, celebration, discussion and dialogue. We believe that seeds
have been sown that will bear fruit over the next few years in a stronger
Apostolatus Maris throughout the world.
We have caught a lot of
fish. We have had a good cruise and transported many containers. Let us go back
to our work, (still with other fish, transport and cruises) to our apostolate,
with joy, satisfaction and a renewed spirit.
Farewell and gratitude
To conclude, I think a
word of farewell and especially of gratitude is necessary from the part of the
Pontifical Council I am speaking also in the name of our President, Archbishop
The first goes to
Archbishop Eusebio O. Scheid, to his Clergy, to the Religious women and men and
to the Lay people who have generously contributed
to our Congress, through their time or money. I would also like to say in a
special way how grateful we are to Father Claudio Ambrosio and to his team of
volunteers for the tremendous amount of work they have done for us. They have
our friendship and they deserve a big applause…
And now I would like to
thank each one of you: you are the Congress, like a small universal “synod”.
You are the AOS, you are those who take the Gospel, the tenderness and
compassion of the Lord of mercy, into the blue world!
Our gratitude also goes to
Antonella Farina (ladies first!), Fr. Tronche and Fr. Harel. They are extremely
dedicated people who do not spare time and sacrifices to carry out their very
demanding task. And thanks also to Fr. Andrea, who accompanied us to help in the
administrative field “una tantum”, and to Fr. Bruno Ciceri, from Taiwan To
the interpreters also our heartfelt thanks because we know that they have had to
face a very tough job.
To all those who have
helped make our liturgical celebrations living moments of beautiful praise to
God and upliftment for our spirits we wish to say a warm “Thank you”!
I do not want to forget
the manager and personnel of the Guanabara Palace Hotel who have been patient,
kind and accommodating in all our needs. To them go our sincere gratitude.
Let us remain united in
prayer and christian love, and may Almighty and Merciful God pour upon
us his gracious blessing. May Mary, Star of the Sea, guide us to the
everlasting port of Heaven, for She is the Mother of God. In the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Archbishop Marchetto did not read the paragraphs between brackets