We have seen shy attempts by politicians to mend things, to address global challenges like poverty and climate change together. But our carbon-driven global economy has marched on in the meantime, increasing material well-being for some, but also fuelling economical, environmental and social inequalities. Climate change, which poses huge challenges to some of the world’s poorest communities experiencing increasingly extreme weather, is an obvious example. The exploitation of natural resources, which leaves the people of some of the world’s most resource-rich countries dirt poor, is another one. Continue reading
Category Archives: Climate change
With the planting of a tree, the Brazilian Episcopal Conference, with bishops and priests from the Latin American church, began Mass in the Cathedral of St. Sebastian in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
The faithful prayed for a renewed commitment of world leaders to work for the elimination of poverty and the protection of nature at the UN Rio +20 conference beginning this week.
Archbishop Orani João Tempest of Rio de Janerio and Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, president of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference held the evnt in Spanish, French, Portuguese and English as a sigh of communion between the countries.
At the start of the Rio +20 Summit, Bishop Ulrich called on the conscience of world leaders and all people of good will to find an alternative development model based on ethics and responsibility for the environment and the human being, on justice, solidarity and the gospel values.
Read the post in Spanish
Par Ryan Worms
« La faim dans le monde n’est pas une fatalité, c’est une tragédie qui pourrait être évitée. » Par ces mots, le cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, président de Caritas Internationalis, a mis de l’avant le constat qui mobilise les participants du Congrès sur la faim dans le monde et la sécurité alimentaire durable, organisé par Caritas Autriche, Caritas Internationalis et Caritas Europe et qui s’est ouvert aujourd’hui à Vienne.
Trente-cinq experts de plus de 20 pays sont venus mettre en commun leur expertise sur les causes structurelles de la faim dans le monde et débattre avec 700 délégués en provenance de différentes Caritas, d’organisations de la société civile, de gouvernements et d’institutions internationales. L’objectif de Caritas est de définir les actions à mettre en œuvre pour construire un futur libéré de la faim et dans lequel le droit à l’alimentation soit pleinement respecté. Continue reading
The announcement today of the Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund has been welcomed by international development and environmental organisations in Scotland. The fund was launched by Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, alongside former President of Ireland Mary Robinson.
SCIAF, the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund, a member of the global Caritas Internationalis network of Catholic development agencies, is among the groups welcoming the news. Continue reading
Two people died and around 30 houses were destroyed after rainstorms hit Cambodia’s Battambang province on 4 May. An estimated 116 families in seven villages were affected by rainstorm in Preytralach. Among all the destroyed houses, 20 were fully destroyed while 18 were 70 percent destroyed.
Caritas Cambodia responsed by providing people hit by the bad weather with food aid (rice, fish sauce, salt, sugar and canned fish.)and non-food items (tents, water filters). Caritas also gave Riels 600,000 to each family (about Euros 120 or $150). Continue reading
Our very own Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the National Secretariat for Social Action-Justice and Peace (NASSA is Caritas Philippines) and a prominent activist against mining in his country, has been awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize.
Fr. Edu, as he is affectionately called by most who know him, said, “The honour is not only for me but for us in the Church and our contribution to protect the fragile ecology and to pursue the campaign for justice and rights of the poor and the marginalised.” Continue reading
Hazel Williams is the humanitarian coordinator for Darfur of CAFOD (Caritas England and Wales). She recently paid a visit to some of the many camps that house people who have fled fighting in the region. Caritas works with the Act Alliance of Protestant and Orthodox aid agencies in a unique ecumenical cooperation, through the operations of Norwegian Church Aid, Sudanaid (a Caritas member) and the Sudan Council of Churches.
Solar power is making an extraordinary difference in camps in Darfur, Sudan, by providing much needed water to those living there.
As we enter Khamsadigay camp, which houses just under 20,000 people, we weave through narrow alleys between the temporary structures that people have slowly erected over the last eight or nine years. It’s a Friday morning, so the dusty burnt orange sand tracks are illuminated by groups of flowing white galabiyas – the traditional robes that Dafurian men wear for Friday prayers.
We are here to visit a solar powered water pump that provides 29 litres of water to each person living in the camp per day. It’s really quite amazing just how much water the camp has. They may suffer many challenges, but thanks to our local partner’s programme and the community’s commitment, water is definitely not one of them.
As we stand under the large solar panels, with the sun glaring down on us, one of my guides, from our partner Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), starts to explain how solar power has transformed the lives of those living within the camp. The provision of water only uses a very small amount of the power produced – and given how my skin is burning, I can well believe these panels are working overtime. Continue reading
Available in Spanish
Stewardship of creation in response to climate change
By Fr Patricio Enrique Sarlat Flores, Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Social Pastoral – Caritas Mexico
Theological reflections on climate change are urgently needed to identify the vocation of the creation given by God to man, and also the rightful command to work the ground from which he had been taken (Genesis 3:23).
Today, on contemplating our skies and lands, we should heighten our sensitivity to discover the signs that impel our cooperation as religious communities. Rather than stifling us, may our discussions foster the emergence of a common pool of creative responses, committed actions and fraternal solidarity to deal with climate change.
The din of the machinery of development, economic mirages and the vertiginous torrents of consumerism, should not sidetrack our capacity to hear and pay attention to the cries and groans of pain of creation; this chorus of lamentations also includes the voice of humanity. Continue reading
By Martina Liebsch, Director of Poverty and Advocacy at Caritas Internationalis
Representatives from different faiths gathered at a ‘Climate Justice and Food Security: Moral, ethical and spiritual imperatives’ side event 7 December at the Durban climate change talks.
The event was sponsored by Caritas Internationalis and World Council of Churches. The panel was chaired by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban and included Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim representatives.
Reverend Mardi Tendal, of the United Church of Canada, said we should work towards transforming cultures of consumption to cultures of responsibility. She said there is a moral imperative for action and solidarity in reducing the adverse effects of climate change.
Rabbi Hillel Avidan from Durban said God maintains the creation, but gives us the responsibility to care for it. We have failed to do so and we have recognised it.
“Change does not happen through treaties and conventions, but by bringing in compassion and generosity,” said Sister Jayanti Kirpalani (Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University). She said the situation of the planet is linked to lack of love and respect.
Reverend Nicta Lubaale. Secretary General, Organization of African Instituted Churches, said in our global economic system greed has taken over and we need to break that. The Our Father prayer helps us: It says ‘our’ daily bread not ‘my’ daily bread.
750 verses of the Koran reflect on nature and creation, said Bedria Mohammed Ahmed (Women of Faith Network. Ethiopian Interfaith Development Dialogue and Action). The Koran calls for respect of all life forms. Religious teachings can play a pivotal role in change and faith leaders should devote their efforts to this.
“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children,” she quoted an old American Indian proverb.
Fr. Patricio Flores of Caritas Mexico referred to voices of indigenous people and farmers: “The Earth is confused. We expect one thing and something else happens. One day the heavens rain down on us, and the next day we are freezing cold or boiling hot. We are suffering with the Earth and we’re sorry to abandon her in her agony, as it’s more difficult for her to bear fruit and we have to look for food elsewhere”.
Dr. Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi urged us to continue our efforts, that leaders listen to us and to educate people about the change in lifestyle needed.
By Patrick Nicholson
Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga says failure at climate talks in Durban is a “moral apartheid” that cannot be allowed to happen.
Just as South Africa’s Apartheid era policies sought divisions along race lines, says Cardinal Rodriguez, today the world’s environment and energy policies divide man from nature.
He said talks under the UNFCCC that finish 9 December must end with a step forward rather than a step backwards.
This means a fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement that builds on the Kyoto Protocol. Decisions are needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40 percent by 2020 by developed counties.
During a special Mass at Emmanuel Cathderal in Durban, Cardinal Rodriguez delivered a homily asking how long will countless people have to go on dying before adequate decisions are taken.
“Powerful nations of the world, we are expecting from you the courageous decisions the world needs to live in peace and solidarity,” he said.
Read the full homily below Continue reading