May 2001

Archbishop's line on globalisation

The critical attitude of the Finnish Lutheran Church towards globalisation has remained unchanged under the new Archbishop, Jukka Paarma. An editorial in the social democratic newspaper Uutispäivä Demari (14 May 2001) says that when Paarma was appointed, he was described as "manager-like and colourless". It has become clear, however, that Paarma is as active a visionary preacher as his predecessor Johan Vikström, the editorial states. Vikström often used to speak about social and global problems and take a stand on the side of the excluded and the poor.

According to Paarma's own account, he is keeping in contact with both the trade union movement and employers, and with the government and parliament, and also different political parties. Uutispäivä Demari concludes that the archbishop has wide social contacts and a close understanding of what is going on in the country and what people think.

"In social discussion and activity as well, the church has clearly chosen the side which tries to alleviate the damage caused by globalising economy and acts to help the poor. These choices of principle have an effect on how issues are discussed. They also have multiple effects on those who are responsible for social action, like political parties and labour market decision-makers.

"The church comes close to people's everyday life when it acknowledges problems of social and regional exclusion and defends people who suffer burn-out in working life. People who have to find solutions are elsewhere but the active role of the church ensures that the voice of the not-so-well-off does not drown in the noise of the market."

Uutispäivä Demari points out that the church has an important role in bringing positive values and meaningful activities to the young. The editorial says that this is important because currently the lack of values in people's lives means they are filled with all kinds of inessential, harmful and even dangerous things.

See also:

Lutheran bishops in defence of the Nordic welfare State

24 February 2000

Bishops attack Anglo-American economic doctrines

March 1999

Archbishop of Finland supports Citizenís Income

June 1998

Lutheran worries about welfare state

March 1997

From Lutheranism to the crisis of modern welfare state

March 1997

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