Category Archives: United Kingdom

A slice of Rio in Scotland

UntitledBy Val Morgan, SCIAF (Caritas Scotland)

Scotland’s Rio is an event for the young people of Scotland to coincide with the World Youth Day being celebrated with Pope Francis in Rio de Janeiro in July 2013. It will take place at Stirling University Campus from Thursday 25th – Sunday 28th July, 2013.       

We hope to give young people from across Scotland the opportunity to experience something of the celebration of the international World Youth Day.

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Filed under Brazil, Catholic Teaching, Europe, Latin America, United Kingdom

50 years of CAFOD (Caritas England and Wales)

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November 19, 2012 · 10:58 AM

Scottish climate fund shows the way forward

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

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Filed under Advocacy, Climate Change, Europe, Food, United Kingdom

Pakistan 6 months after floods: Monica’s story

Monika Vrsanska on a field trip to Pakistan. Credit: CAFOD

by Monika Vrsanska, CAFOD programme officer for the Pakistan Emergency

On the road to the village of Parto Malik, we finally see the water. A lot of water, considering the flood was supposed to have ended a couple of months ago. The road is very dusty and we cough a lot, but the surrounding fields are still covered with water.

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Filed under Aid Success Story, Asia, Conflicts and Disasters, Emergencies, Emergencies in Pakistan, Pakistan, United Kingdom

Cancun climate conference: Response to the Cancun Agreements

CAFOD (Caritas England and Wales) response to the Cancun Agreements

CAFOD’s head of policy Gwen Barry said: “Cancun has shown people whose lives depend on these negotiations that the world is serious about preventing devastating climate change. The gains made here in Mexico lay the foundations for action towards a legally binding agreement that could safeguard the future for our children and grandchildren.

“It is a credit to the Mexican presidency of the COP that they created the political space for meaningful negotiation. After the damaging adversarial tone of Copenhagen and Tianjin they have offered us glimpses of a political dynamic that could successfully tackle climate change. The collective spirit of multi-lateralism that filled the last hours of Cancun engendered a level of compromise that saw even recalcitrant nations find room for flexibility.

“But Japan, the US, Russia and Canada – and any nation that did not come to Cancun with ambitious mandates – must be reminded that when the present economic crisis has ended, climate change will still be gathering pace.  And with each year that passes without a globally binding agreement to cut emissions and finance poor countries’ needs to adapt to climate change and develop low-carbon economies, the impacts will become more and more severe. Continue reading

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Filed under Advocacy, Climate Change, Europe, Food, High-Level Meetings and Events, Latin America, Mexico, United Kingdom

Climate Justice: Back to work after Copenhagen

Posted by Liz Gallagher, CAFOD Head of Climate Finance Policy

It’s been seven months since I last ventured by train to Bonn, where the majority of the UN climate change negotiations take place. Last August, I bid farewell to the city, which had for most of last year had become like a second home for those of us climate negotiation nerds.

A lot has happened since I departed last summer. Further negotiations took place in Bangkok, Barcelona and of course Copenhagen.

Copenhagen was an iconic meeting, not because it delivered anything of substance to tackle climate change, but because it amplified the tensions and distrust that had lurked in the shadows for the past few years, climaxing in a fumbled and totally inadequate outcome – the Copenhagen Accord. Continue reading

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Filed under Advocacy, Climate Change, Denmark, Europe, Food, United Kingdom

Arcbishop Kelly: What is needed in Gaza is the will to listen

World religious leaders rally in Bethlehem for peace in Gaza

World religious leaders rally in Bethlehem for peace in Gaza

The Episcopal Co-ordination in Support of the Church in the Holy Land was set up in Jerusalem in October 1998 at the request of the Holy See and is organised by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales.

Last year at a meeting between Bishops from the Holy Land Co-ordination and the Vatican’s Secretariat of State Cardinal Bertone renewed the mandate and thanked the Holy Land Co-ordination for its vital work in supporting the Church in the Holy Land.

The Holy Land Co-ordination meets every January in the Holy Land with the aim of acting in solidarity with local Christians and sharing in the pastoral life of the local Church as it experiences intense political and social-economic pressure.

Speaking from Bethlehem on Sunday, Archbishop Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool and Vice President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

“Everyone I meet at this time speaks with immense sadness of the suffering and destruction taking place in Gaza and the fears of the people in Israel because of rocket attacks. As someone who beyond all deserving or planning on my part has visited the Holy Land many times and Gaza once, this sadness reflects my own heart at this time. The conflict has deep roots but the priority now must be the immediate end to all violence. Violence is evil especially when it blocks humanitarian relief desperately needed. Because the roots are so deep and complex this outburst of violence cries out for such wise and courageous leadership that justice for all those for whom the Holy Land is home is achieved so that all violence is relegated to the past and peace shall be secured for generations to come.

“There needs to be an immediate ceasefire to allow humanitarian relief through. There is an urgent need for humanitarian relief for the population of Gaza. Violence is evil, especially when it blocks humanitarian aid.

“The first duty of leaders in this situation is to take the necessary steps to stop and avoid violence and to take the costly steps to engage in dialogue. What is needed now is a will on both sides to listen, understand and move towards reconciliation. History always judges as truly brave those who are open to any conversation that saves a single life.

“The agencies, supported by the Church, seek to serve all. However they have a specific responsibility to the needs of the minority Christians and also to appreciate the role of religion and faith in this land. Any solution must recognise this land has to be home for two peoples and three religions.”

Also on Sunday, while addressing a group of Christian schoolchildren who had paraded through Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, said the following:

“Here in Bethlehem in these days when we are witnesses to so much horror in Gaza … I say: violence, no matter where it comes from or whatever form it takes, must be condemned… I want to take this opportunity to condemn the violence in the Middle East and in a special way the attacks in the Gaza Strip. In two weeks these attacks have hurt Israel and the region more than all the rockets launched across the years.

“The birth of the child Jesus in the lowly stable of Bethlehem, so weak and undefended, leads us naturally to think of the situation in Gaza, where over the past two weeks we have witnessed a renewed outbreak of violence. This violence has caused a huge loss of life and destruction of homes, schools and institutions, wreaking immense damage and bringing terrible suffering for the civilian population, especially to many innocent children.

“Violence tempts us because it seems as if it might resolve our problems. This is a false hope. This outbreak of violence brings nothing but complications in the quest for a just settlement to the conflict, which is fervently sought by people across this land and indeed across the world.”

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Filed under Advocacy, Conflicts and Disasters, Emergencies, Emergencies in the Philippines, Europe, Jerusalem, Middle East & North Africa, Peacebuilding, United Kingdom