Globalization is in itself neither good nor bad; it is, rather, the description of a reality that must be shaped. “Originating within economically developed countries, this process by its nature has spread to include all economies. It has been the principal driving force behind the emergence from underdevelopment of whole regions, and in itself it represents a great opportunity. Nevertheless, without the guidance of charity in truth, this global force could cause unprecedented damage and create new divisions within the human family” (Pope Benedict XVI, CiV). When we buy inexpensive jeans, we should not be indifferent to the conditions in which they were manufactured, to the question of whether or not the workers received a just wage. Everyone’s fortune matters. No one’s poverty should leave us indifferent. On the political level, there is a need for “a true world political authority” (Pope Benedict XVI, CiV [citing Bl. John XXIII, Encyclical Pacem in terris]) to help reach a compromise between the people in the rich nations and those in underdeveloped countries. Far too often the latter are still excluded from the advantages of economic globalization and have only burdens to bear.
In order to protect the mystery of God and to set the people of Israel apart from the idolatrous practices of the pagans, the First Commandment said, "You shall not make for yourself a graven image" (Ex 20:4). However, since God himself acquired a human face in Jesus Christ, the prohibition against images was repealed in Christianity; in the Eastern Church, icons are even regarded as sacred. [2129-2132,2141] The knowledge of the patriarchs of Israel that God surpasses everything and is much greater than anything in the world lives on today in Judaism as in Islam, where no image of God is or ever was allowed. In Christianity, in light of Christ’s life on earth, the prohibition against images was mitigated from the fourth century on and was abolished at the Second Council of Nicaea (787). By his Incarnation, God is no longer absolutely unimaginable; after Jesus we can picture what he is like: “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9).