Pope raises finger against outsourcing

By : |July 16, 2009 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: Remember the Bangalore Buffalo comment made by President Obama? And now a similar observation, though in a different manner and different context, made by Pope Benedict XVI, has brought the issue of outsourcing to the forefront.

The Holy father’s Encyclical, Caritas In Veritate (Love in Truth), released last week has sent shock waves among the IT industry, especially outsourcing destinations like India, as the letter has raised pointed questions on the adverse impact of outsourcing.

While inseparable connection between love and truth is the main theme of the letter, the issue of globalisation also finds a major place in it.

“The so-called outsourcing of production can weaken the company’s sense of responsibility towards the stakeholders – namely the workers, the suppliers, the consumers, the natural environment and broader society – in favour of the shareholders, who are not tied to a specific geographical area and who, therefore, enjoy extraordinary mobility,” observers the Encyclical.

“We need to match the interdependence of nations with an ethical interaction of consciences and minds. We need to share goods and resources, not only technical progress,” it added.

According to the Encyclical, the mobility of labour can give rise to “psychological instability” resulting in “situations of human decline”, though it produces significant benefits.

“We need to ensure that, in the context of an ever more globalised labour market, measures taken by States to increase economic competitiveness do not militate against the fulfillment of their obligation to protect the poor and the most vulnerable (for example in pensions and child benefit payments).

The Church does not offer technical solutions or interfere in politics, but cannot renounce its mission of truth, says the letter.

And, significantly enough, the observations has not gone well with the industry.

“A truly revolutionary document would have dealt with the rise of China and India,” said Tyler Cowen in a column written in the Wall Street Journal. He said the Encyclical lacks grasp about the emerging world economic order.

On the other hand Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne said the Encyclical "places the pope well to Obama’s left on economics”.

But the Church says “It’s not an encyclical done for the crisis.,” According to Cardinal Renato Martino, the president of the Vatican’s Council for Justice and Peace, “If the encyclical had come out before the crisis, you would have said it was prophetic.”

Coming from the politics of globalization to the world of entertainment, there also Vatican has some clear stands. A few days after the Encyclical, the Vatican newspaper gave a favorable review to the latest film, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" after giving the lead character a decisive thumbs down in the past.

Only last year, an article in the paper called Harry Potter "a wrong model of a hero". Vatican‘s newspaper ‘The Osservatore Romano’ said the new Harry Potter movie is "the best film of the series".

So there is hope. Maybe in the next review outsourcing will also get a positive comment! Praise the Lord.

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