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My People

Vol. 29, Issue 7, July 2016

"If my people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land." — 2 Chronicles 7:14


Food Loss Needs To Be Tackled

by Caritas Internationalis

(Editor's note: This report was provided by Caritas Internationalis.)

Caritas president Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle has said that the issue of food loss needs to be looked at differently and approached through government policy, lifestyle choices, and spirituality.

The Cardinal was speaking at the event 'Practical Approaches for Reducing Food Losses in the Context of Food Security: A Challenge for the International Community' at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome.

Up to a third (1.3 billion tons) of all food is spoiled or squandered before it is consumed by people every year. Food is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain, from initial production to when it reaches people's homes. This has a massive impact on poor families who rely directly on agriculture for their food.

May God Bless America

"Remember that you have been called to live in freedom - but not a freedom that gives free rein to the flesh. Out of love, place yourselves at one another's service." (Gal 5:13)

During his speech, Cardinal Tagle said, "If we want food systems to ensure the right to adequate food for everyone, including the most disadvantaged ones, this requires sound policies and effective measures to prevent food losses.

The Cardinal said that food loss is a problem in the implementation of Caritas' projects. He gave examples of Caritas' work to reduce food loss including the "Farm for Maine" program in the USA which distributes food straight from the field to needy people and a 2014 study by Caritas Malawi which showed how food losses from numerous crops impacted small farmers.

He said that Caritas' projects focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized and described the Caritas approach to food loss: "Caritas addresses food loss not only by providing technical solution. Rather the response comes from a vision of human development that is integral, societal, and ecological."

Cardinal Tagle also spoke of the Church's ongoing commitment to tackling food waste and loss, citing Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' and Pope Benedict's Caritas in Veritate, in which the Pope Emeritus wrote, "to eliminate the structural causes of food insecurity is to promote agricultural development, through investments in rural infrastructure, irrigation, transportation, market organization, training and sharing agricultural techniques among farmers (CiV, 27)."

All good ways to prevent food loss, said Cardinal Tagle.

Water Is Big Challenge

by Michelle Hough

(Editor's note: This report was provided by Caritas. Michelle spent two and a half years as web writer and editor for the UN World Food Program in Rome prior to joining Caritas Internationalis. Before that she was a news journalist for Vatican Radio's English section where she covered the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI, she also reported on Church issues and international news. She's written for The Tablet, Catholic New Service, Screen International, Variety Daily at Cannes and Time Out. She speaks English, Italian, French, and conversational Spanish.)

In April, Caritas president Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle told a Caritas delegation gathered in Nepal for the first anniversary of the 2015 earthquake, "I'm here as a student, to learn what the Caritas confederation is."

That's exactly how I feel when I travel for work. Caritas is vast - it's in 165 countries - and it works on many issues, on a variety of levels, and in many different contexts.

We're in Sindhupalchok, the area worst affected by last-year's earthquake and after-shock two weeks later. Of the 9,000 people who died, well over 5,000 were in this district.

I went to visit one of the people who'd received Caritas help last year. Shanti Phori, 25, lives in a small village called Kitar. She was pregnant and out gathering fodder for animals when the earthquake hit. Her 3-year-old son was home alone and two other children at school. She ran home and found her house had collapsed and her son injured.

Caritas provided Shanti and her family with food and clothes in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. Soon after she got corrugated iron sheeting so the family could build a temporary home. She is also part of a cash-for-work program where Caritas pays her to help clear debris.

But the reality of families who survived the earthquake is extremely complex and fragile. To visit the communities we met yesterday we spent over an hour travelling up a mountain in a 4x4 on a very rough dirt track. We were bouncing around like bingo balls inside the car and we often had to stop because of the dust clouds created by the car in front.

The communities were very isolated and getting any help to them - or if they need to get help in an emergency takes a lot of time and patience.

As she breast-fed her 9-month-old son, Shanti told me she was really worried about how she was going to get water in the future. The springs near her house have been drying up and the last one looks as though it too will dry up.

Shanti with her family.
Photo by Sunil Simon/Caritas Austria

The issue of water is of real concern for many of the communities Caritas has been speaking to. In the first community we went to in Thokarpa neither the school nor the health center had water. Family members would walk an hour to fetch water from the river.

My travelling companion, Sunil Simon from Caritas Austria, told me that in a few months the rainy season would arrive and the already dangerous mountain roads would have rivers of water pouring down them.

But this doesn't solve the long-term water issue. Caritas has been assessing needs in the villages and planning how to step up its work in 'WASH' (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene).

I went to Thokarpa and Kitar with Cardinal Tagle; Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal; Bishop Peter Stasiuk of Caritas Australia; Fr. Silas Bogati, director of Caritas Nepal; Sunil and colleagues from Caritas Germany, Italiana, Australia, and Trocaire.

Part of our reason for being in Nepal with a number of other Caritas colleagues is to show solidarity with the Nepali earthquake survivors and to also look at what we could learn from the past year and how we could best accompany communities in the future.

We were greeted by hundreds of people in Thokarpa and a band accompanied us up the dirt track. As we reached the entrance to the village people started to put flower garlands around our necks until our faces were half-covered by the pink flowers. It was an incredibly warm and joyous welcome by people who had suffered a lot and who were still going through a very difficult time.

We sat down in front of the hundreds of people under an awning to keep the beating sun off us and they gave speeches about how Caritas had quickly given them help, they also performed dances and songs about Caritas.

It was a beautiful ceremony but as I looked at the faces of the people watching, many had the worn yet stoic look of people who had been through a lot.

Other NGOs who gave initial aid have now left Thokarpa. Caritas will stay because it is part of the community affected. Caritas is investing over 36 million euro to help communities recover from the earthquake over the next few years. The money will be invested in helping rebuild communities as well as houses and in healing the wounds inflicted by the disaster.

During the ceremony Cardinal Tagle said to the people of Thokarpa, "To fathers and grandfathers, we hope you remain strong in leading your villages. To mothers and grandmothers, we hope you can keep the family and community really alive. To the young, people like you from around the world send help to Caritas. Study well and become good citizens of Nepal and the world. Thank you and God bless."

Christianity Growing In Nepal

by Michael Halm

The World Christian Database identifies Nepal as having the fastest-growing Christian population of any nation. In 1951 there were no Christians in the country, then mountain-climbing opened Nepal up to the outside world. By 1961 there were 458, by 2001 over ten thousand. By 2008 the Hindu-dominated monarchy ended. By 2011 nearly four times than that, over 10,000 of them Catholics.

Bishwa Mani Pokharel of the newspaper Nagarik is of the opinion there are very many more Christians.

Most recently the Christian relief efforts in the wake of last year's earthquake near Katmandu has lead to conversions. This quake was sixteen times stronger than Haiti's 2010 quake, affecting 8 million and killing 9,000.

Gary Fallesen of Climbing for Christ says new Christians are coming from the lower castes, "It's the only way out. Socially there's nothing they can do to change that and then we come along and share about Jesus and the love He has for them."

Jo Ann Lyon, founder of World Hope International, concurs, "It's love like this that helps to propel the Christian faith in countries like Nepal. It's also why countries with greater religious freedoms are generally more peaceful, have greater degrees of gender equality, and also have more stable economies."

In 1990 Jesuit Anthony Francis Sharma founded Caritas Nepal, the Catholic service organization. In 2007 he was appointed Nepal's first Catholic bishop. He had taught both King Gyanendra and his brother, King Birendra Shah, at St. Joseph's College in Darjeeling, and established 23 schools.

"The Jesuits of Jawalakhel came to Nepal not to preach," he explained, "but to serve the nation by acting as an educational institution."

About 1760 he says Capuchin "priests were given full authority to preach Christianity and even build a church called Our Lady's Assumption somewhere in Lalitpur District." In 1996 a new Church of the Assumption was completed at Dhobighat.

"With 25 percent of the population of Nepal already in extreme poverty before the earthquake and 83 percent of Nepal's people living in rural areas, the impact of the earthquake on people's lives, and all that they had built over a lifetime was immense," said Jennifer Poidatz, director of Catholic Relief Services' Humanitarian Response Department.

Jyam Bahadur Thapa Magar, 55, had been building homes in Bungkot, Gorkha district, since he was a teenager.

"I learned how to build houses from the elders," he says. "I went with them to work and I learned by seeing them working. I made houses that same way my whole life until I took a training from CRS."

"I think the houses built with the new techniques will not fall at once if a very strong earthquake happens," he says. "And it will take some time to fall if it is going to fall. So people can escape during the earthquake and aftershocks and be safe. And if it is a smaller earthquake, the house will stand strong."

Kalpana Shrestha, a seasonal farm worker, says, "I'm planning to work making houses after I finish the training. I want to earn more and have more regular work. It's not guaranteed that I will get work, but I think I can go to different places in walking distance and find jobs."

Kumari Gurung says, "I had a hotel with 22 beds. It was large and beautiful. When the earthquake happened it fully collapsed. My small granddaughter was trapped and we couldn't get to her until my son game to dig her out."She and her son now have an eight-room hotel, built with aid from CRS, though they still owe on the loan for the former hotel. She estimates it will take another five years for the market to reach its pre-earthquake level of economic activity.

God And Stress

by Leiann Spontaneo

In Too Blessed To Be Stressed Debora M. Coty discusses how to overcome stress God's way. She states that stress is kryptonite and it reduces you to a pile of quivering mush. Mary made time to sit at the feet of Jesus while Martha rushed about cleaning and cooking to perfection. How would you describe the different stress levels?

Overextension of our time and energy smothers our inner peace. Papa God (as the author affectionately calls Him) wants to give us His peace. The devil thrives in chaos. Change channels. Distraction is your friend. Walk, fresh air, cook, do housework, etc. Positive input reduces negative output. Lose yourself in some music. Also writing down your concerns is an effective tool for breaking the worry cycle. You relieve stress and have a solid approach for resolving problems rather than stewing over them. It enables you to express the emotions you are not comfortable verbalizing and serves as a springboard for prayer requests!

Next, make daily time with Papa God a priority. Tight schedules are no excuse. If it is important to you, you will find a way to carve out time.

Furthermore, humor is important! It is God's weapon against worry, anxiety, and fear. It is a powerful salve for the skinned knees of the Spirit ... healing, revitalizing, protecting us against bitterness, defeat, or depression like a lifeline when we're so absorbed in the stressful details of our lives.

On the same hand, Papa God never meant for us to keep going 900 miles per hour all day. The Bible records numerous times that Jesus Himself stole away for a rest break.

Do you ever struggle with guilt about spending time on things you enjoy? Proverbs 17:22 states that a happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

As for worship it dos not have to be just in a stained-glass building or a magnificent cathedral or a designated hour and location. We can do church anywhere, anytime. All we have to supply is wonder, awe, and have a heart full of praise. Quiet worship is just as pleasing to God as overt praise. But you will never know you are missing unless you step out of your comfort zone. The author goes on to ask the readers about what leads them most toward worship and to make it a point to subject themselves to that particular thing sometime this week.

Finally, page 190 goes on to ask, how doesn't it knock boulders of stress from our weary, sagging shoulders to realize that gods' sovereignty takes precedence over the tiny pebbles of control we thought we had? It's humbling and encouraging to know the Creator of the universe somehow finds the time to manage, even the smallest details of our lives. It makes it much easier to trust Him with the big stuff, doesn't it?

Prison To Praise

Detached Suffering

by Stephen Stoeltje

(Mr. Stoeltje writes from Texas. We welcome contributions from prisoners. We would like to hear from a variety of prisoners.)

A story is told about a merchant who sold his fruits and vegetables out of a boat in which he crossed a little lake every day to get to the market place. One evening he was returning home across the water; it was late dusk and visibility was getting low, when suddenly he saw another boat approaching his. He realized this boat was on a collision course with his and he began screaming for the boat to turn away. As it got closer and closer he began to curse and scream louder as his anger rose.

"You fool! What are you doing?" he hollered out. "Turn away," waving his arms, "we are going to collide! You idiot fool!"

Finally he was able to turn his boat away to avoid the collision; all the while cursing and screaming violently at the other boat. When the boats came aligned side by side he looked and suddenly realized the boat was empty. There was no one in the other boat. It was just adrift alone in the water. He realized that he was screaming and cursing at no one. He thought then that the fool was himself. He laughed at himself and learned a lesson.

His violent cursing and screaming was not needed. What was needed was for him to focus his attention on the situation at hand and to adjust the course of his own boat. What was needed was to pay attention to his own response. This is what responsibility is: the "ability" to "respond" appropriately rather than "react" inappropriately to a given situation. Even in the heat of the emotions at hand.

Placing blame and fault finding upon others and enemies is a major element in judgmental and anger issues. Removing blame can be a great factor in dealing with anger and resentment. A wonderful spiritual hero of mine, Mario, once shared with me this great insight; we usually judge others strictly by their actions alone. But we judge ourselves mostly by our motives. Perhaps that needs to be reversed. You know how we can usually always justify our actions by our intentions. Yet we hardly ever do that for our enemies. If we can learn how to do that for our enemies we could give up our resentments and grow in love and compassion for others. That is what compassion and empathy is. It is placing my mind away from my own self and my life and putting my mind inside the life and thinking of others. Then I can come to a better understanding of where that person is coming from and what the other is struggling and suffering with. What pain is my neighbor, or my enemy, dealing with?

The next time someone really offends and triggers our anger or judgment, maybe the most compassionate thing to think is: "There's no one in that boat."

Anger and hate are secondary emotions. The primary emotion behind anger and resentment is fear. The psalmist says, "Refrain from anger and turn from wrath [or judgment]; do not fear - it leads only to evil." Rather, "Be still before the Lord and trust in Him" (Psalm 37:7,8).

The opposite of fear is not just courage. There is a major difference between the courage of the self-pride versus the courage of love in a Christ centered humility. "It is the loveless who fear. It is the fearless who love." (Joe Ely) St. John of the Cross said, "Where there is no love, put love, and you will find love." It is up to us to insert love into a loveless situation; the Holy Spirit of Jesus empowers us to do so; and then we will find the love we need. "Be the miracle for others that you need for yourself" (Dr.Tony Evens). Be love! Be the love for others that you need for yourself and you will find the love that you need for yourself.

Remember, "The opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is fear" (Fr. Robert Barron). St. John wrote if we love we will have no fear; "There is no fear in love, (because) perfect love drives out fear ... The one who fears is not made perfect in love" (1st John 4:18). The one who blames and finds fault is lacking in love. Love is the pathway to fearlessness. Love is a power and source of strength and confidence in Jesus. When I fail to love someone I am living in fear and weakness. Fear impedes the ability for compassion.

Therefore, I need to often ask myself: "What am I afraid of?" "What are my pet-peeves?" "What really makes me angry?" What is it that disturbs my peace of mind? These are the sources of fears and resentments. These are the areas of unforgiveness and absences of compassion. These are interior areas of darkness and death. For where love and compassion is lacking there is no life. "A soul that does not love ... is not living" (St. Alphonsus Liguori).

St. James states, "... the anger of a man never brings about the righteous life that God desires ..." (1:20). (So where does this leave room for any so called "righteous anger?")

What am I afraid of? St. James answers this question about fear in this way, "What causes fights and arguments among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You fight and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight ..." (4:1,2). James teaches we have no peace in our desires because we do not trust God. The reason I get angry and blame and judge is due to my basic fear of not getting what I want. The fear of being out of control of the situation. The fear of not getting my way in life. It is the fear and failure to be able to sincerely pray, "Thy Will be done." This is why anger, hate, and violence is so rampant here in prison. For what am I really in control of here as a prison inmate: this is the interior anger and violence that comes out in many here over a simple "channel check" for the TV in the dayroom. These are the outward expressions of a desperate fear and despair in life.

The truth is the only thing I am truly in control of is the response of my own heart and attitude. I can choose to be in control of my own heart and to give up my fear and anger by giving up my own personal desires, surrendering my will for the will of God. St. James explains I can choose to trust God and He will satisfy or soothe the desires of my heart. In other words He will reorientate my desires to desire God's will as it is revealing itself in the very situation that is before me (cf. Psalm 37:3-8). Then having given up my desires to God there is no fear, no anger; only faith to rely on Him for every life issue. Only trust and serenity of heart remains. Then I am free to love. Free from blame. Free from judgment.

Do you know how freeing that is? To give up having to be in judgment about every person and situation that I face; that is total freedom. That is the freedom of the Holy Spirit! The freedom to totally trust God! Because He is Almighty, All-Powerful. He is in control! Of everything! Can we believe that? Can we trust that? So there is nothing to fear and everything to love! No fear. No anger. Then all is love. For all is Grace!

Let me share a very personal example. I have a "fall partner" who testified against me in court. You know, it was the typical (and impossible) example imposed on him to testify against me to give me the "aggravated life" sentence for him to receive the lesser time sentence. So when I was working on forgiving him in my spiritual journey I came to realize that I cannot blame him for what he did. The fact is I am guilty of my crime and I deserve the time I received. It was the will of God, for my benefit, blessing, and healing. Thus, when I removed the blame on him, and saw it on myself alone, I can no longer resent him. He is forgiven. And I have peace.

"To this you were called," St. Peter writes, "because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, you should follow in His steps ... When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate, when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly" (1 Peter 2:21,23). the scene which depicts this is the Passion of Christ, the movie, is so powerful. The look on the face of Jesus is a simple blank stare. Like the prophet said, "I have set my face like a flint ... I offered my back to those who beat me ... I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign Lord helps me ..." (Isaiah 50:6-7). What is so amazing about this flint like stare is that although it is full of intense pain there is no look of anger or hate. He does not look at the guards with retaliation nor resentment. His was a detached suffering.

A fresco by St. Fra Angelico called "Christ Mocked" pictures Jesus being beaten and spat upon. Very symbolically the hands that are beating Jesus are there by themselves detached from any bodies or persons. Even the face mocking and spitting is detached from a person. This is so symbolic of how Jesus suffered without blaming and without anger towards His persecutors. He detached His pain from any identity for retaliation, or any resentment.

In demonstrating for us on how to suffer Jesus did not associate His pain to His torturers, except in love and forgiveness. He did not project His pain in anger towards them. He only dealt with the pain itself without projecting anger nor even identifying its cause. His focus seemed just to be on dealing with enduring the pain at present. By this His suffering was a redemptive and detached suffering.

We always want to know why we suffer. We cry out asking Why? Why? Why? We long to find out the reasons and causes for our sufferings (as if the knowledge of reasons itself will make the pain any less). Perhaps, this is good in that we may learn from our sufferings. Yet on the other hand sometimes focusing so much on the cause seems only to intensify the pain, especially when we want to blame someone or something for our suffering. Then the resentment and anger that mounts up on the pain only intensifies the agony.

Blame and judgment is about searching for the justification of resentment. Detached suffering is without blame. In acceptance of the suffering without attaching blame or resentment we can find peace in the pain.

I always keep this formula in mind, "Expectations are premeditated resentments." Attachments in the flesh and to this world are what cause me to suffer. Then I use judgment and blame to justify and strengthen my resentments. This only multiplies my sufferings.

The simple and powerful solution is simply this: "Acceptance is the key to my serenity." This is the power of "The Serenity Prayer." "God grant me the serenity ..." of acceptance. The acceptance of His will. The trust with such acceptance that the Sovereign Lord is working His will in me. Then I can have His peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, even in my pain and sorrow.

Joy and sorrow are not mutually exclusive. But joy and resentment are! There is no joy where resentment resides. So if I can accept my suffering and sorrows without resentments I can have peace in the pain and even joy in the sorrowful suffering. "Acceptance is the key to my Serenity" - and to my very survival. Then I am empowered by the Spirit to live in love.

Support Local Aid Workers

by Caritas Internationalis

(Editor's note: This report was provided by Caritas Internationalis.)

The World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul May 23-24 brought together 173 governments, 350 private sector representatives, and over 2000 people from civil society. With the world experiencing the highest level of humanitarian suffering since the Second World War, delegates were meeting to discuss how to better help those in need.

Caritas Niger operates in some of the remotest parts of the country. One of its staff was at the World Humanitarian Summit with a call for greater support for local aid agencies.
Credit: Sam Phelps/Caritas

The Grand Bargain

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon highlighted as one of the summit's key successes the Grand Bargain. It is an agreement between donors and aid agencies to improve efficiency and transparency. The deal should see humanitarian spending channelled to local organizations go from 0.3 percent in 2015 to 25 percent by 2020.

It is good news. Faith-based organizations including Caritas had attended the summit with a clear message of support for more resources to frontline local humanitarian workers.

Sabine Attama, from Caritas Niger (Cadev), was in Istanbul. She said, "We must commit ourselves to strengthen the national and local leadership, as well as the capacity to commit also to increase investment in communities and thus strengthen that resilience."

Anne Street is head of Humanitarian Policy at Cafod, the Caritas member for England and Wales. She said, "One of the real positive outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit was the success of the localization agenda ... local actors - who are first on the scene when there is a natural disaster or emergency - to receive a much greater share of worldwide humanitarian spending."

Charter for Change

Cafod were one of the leading supporters of the Charter for Change initiative. It is aimed at getting NGOs to "better support southern based organizations play a more prominent role in humanitarian response and become more robust with direct and predictable funding," according to Cafod director, Chris Bain.

Caritas had also been focusing on greater respect for humanitarian principles, where the World Humanitrian Summit was less successful in delivering change.

"But the biggest issue on the agenda - how to end and prevent conflict - was simply not on the agenda. Too sensitive for political leaders. Hardly anyone dared to 'mention the war.' Which is a shame, as wars and conflict are the main reason why this summit was needed in the first place," said CORDAID (Caritas Netherland) political advisor Paul van den Berg.

Going forward

Much will now depend on action following words. "No one loves a concept, no one loves an idea," said Pope Francis in a message to the World Humanitarian Summit. "We love persons. Self-sacrifice, true self-giving, flows from love towards men and women, the children and elderly, peoples and communities ... faces, those faces and names which fill our hearts."

Light to the Nations

(A Christian Perspective on World News)

put human person first

Instanbul, turkey - Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Pareolin made the following statement at the first World Humanitarian Summit held May 23-24:

"Pope Francis has supported the idea of convening this First World Humanitarian Summit, hoping that it may succeed in its goal of placing the person and human dignity at the heart of every humanitarian response, in a common commitment, which can decisively eliminate the culture of waste and disregard for human life, so that no one will be neglected or forgotten, and that no further lives will be sacrificed due to the lack of resources and, above all, the lack of political will.

"The human person should be the aim of any and every humanitarian action. This transcends politics and is ipso facto indispensable, even, and especially, in cases of disasters and conflicts.

"In our highly interconnected world, the use of force and armed conflicts affect, in different ways, all nations and peoples. No one is spared. A culture of dialogue and cooperation should be the norm in dealing with the world's difficulties.

"Heavy reliance on military intervention and selfish economic policies is shortsighted, counterproductive, and never the right solution for these challenges.

"Genocide, deliberate attacks against civilians, violence, and rape of women and children, destruction of cultural patrimony are certainly the poison of criminal thoughts, but such ideas begin in human hearts and minds. Hence, prevention requires education and changes in formational models that will inculcate respect for the human person, especially the weakest and most fragile. Political leaders have a special responsibility to translate it into concrete actions and policies.

"Prevention of armed conflicts is possible. It is not a dream, nor an illusion. Regions enjoying peace, security, and an absence of armed conflicts are proof of this claim. At important junctures in history, great leaders have made prophetic decisions, based on a deep sense and value of the dignity of the human person. By doing so, they have offered their nations the opportunity to build durable and inclusive communities, and have paved the way to a better future for everyone.

"The Holy See is doing its part to build a real and concrete fraternity, among peoples and nations.


renew efforts on nuclear disarmament

WASHINGTON-Representatives from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops joined 40 Roman Catholic bishops, scholars, and policy specialists from nine countries at a colloquium in London, England, May 24-25, to voice moral concerns about nuclear proliferation and the urgent need for disarmament.

"The policy debate is ahead of the moral debate," said Bishop Oscar Cantu, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace. "We need to educate and empower new generations of Catholic leaders on the ethical and policy arguments for reducing and eliminating nuclear weapons."

The colloquium entitled "Catholic Approaches to Nuclear Proliferation and Disarmament" identified key issues, especially theological and moral issues, which need to be addressed in order to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons. It also highlighted policy issues on which religious leaders and ethicists have a comparative advantage or can make a distinctive contribution.

This event was sponsored by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales; Deutsche Bischofskonferenz; Justice et Paix, Conference des eveques de France; the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of International Justice and Peace; the University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; Institut fur Theologie und Frieden; the Catholic Peacebuilding Network; Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; and the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

The London Colloquium is part of an initiative in the United States to empower a new generation of Catholic bishops, scholars, professionals, and students to address the ethical and policy challenges of reducing and eliminating nuclear weapons.

(Source: USCCB press release)

Edge To Edge

Pray The News

Because we are sons and daughters of God, saved by Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we do not merely read the news but make the news. We direct the course of world events by faith expressed in action and intercession. Please pray for the stories covered in this paper. Clip out this intercessory list and make it part of your daily prayer.

  • We pray for the victory of the civilization of life and love over the culture of death.
  • We pray for engaged couples to grow in relationship to Jesus and to each other.
  • We pray for all families, and especially struggling families, to grow in relationship with the Lord and with one another.
  • We pray with Pope Francis that "the Lord bestow on Christian families the faith, freedom, and courage necessary for their mission.
  • We pray that the United States will be "one nation, under God, with Liberty and justice for all."
  • We pray for all to turn to God and ask for a spirit of mercy and forgiveness.
  • We pray that we will reach out to the poor, suffering, sick, and marginalized.
  • We pray for the success of the Bible Institute.
  • We pray for the upcoming political conventions and elections to be under the lordship of Jesus.

The cost of this publication is a donation. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit what amount He would have you contribute.

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Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378,



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