Tag Archives: Cardinal Rodriguez

Cardinal Rodriguez looks at the challenges facing the Church

The President of Caritas Internationalis, Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegulcigalpa, talks to Catholic News Service about the challenges facing the Church as Cardinals prepare to choose a new Pope. He also tells CNS’s Cindy Wooden about how the cardinals prepare for a Conclave.

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The global common good in a world of scarce resources

Read this post in Spanish

Statement from the CELAM-Misereor Symposium, Vatican City, 6 and 7 March 2009 (1)

Given the current situation of climate change, the international financial crisis and dwindling natural resources, as Church organisations we believe it is necessary to have a space for reflection in order to make a faith-based contribution to society. We are concerned about the speed of such changes compared with the slowness of social processes. Some people who fight for the dignity of the sons and daughters of God have become victims and received threats.

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Catholic leaders hopeful that Obama will change US immigration policy

By David Agren
Catholic News Service

                  “We foresee and we hope that the new administration will organize migration in the right way, with contracts and limited-time (stays).” – Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Caritas Internationalis President.

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — Senior Catholic leaders participating in the Sixth World Meeting of Families expressed optimism that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama would usher in more favorable immigration policies that include putting an end to the workplace raids that often separate parents from their children. Read more…

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Only the poor will pay – Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga

Why can the world find money to save banks, but not lives?

Caritas Internationalis President, Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, discusses this worrying phenomenon in an interview with Italian magazine Famiglia Cristiana.

“Last spring, leaders who met in Rome said the there wasn’t enough money for the Millennium Development Goals, yet no one had any problem finding millions of dollars for the banks,” said Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga.

In a recent interview with Famiglia Cristiana, Cardinal Rodriguez said that the current global crisis has not only created more poverty but it is the poor who are paying the highest price.

“The petrol crisis, where prices went through the roof this summer, created 100 million poor people,” said Cardinal Rodríguez.

“To feed one billion malnourished people in the world, you only need US$30 billion per year, less than  5 percent of the White House’s bank bailout plan,” he said.

The Cardinal says financial crimes surely produce more deaths than war, hunger, thirst and disease because of the poverty they cause, and should be punished.

He says the money that disappeared  during the current crisis has actually gone into the pockets of the rich – to the detriment of the poor. He says that change is the only way forward.

“We have to understand that capitalism, the ruler of the world economy for the past 30 years, has failed,” he said. “It doesn’t need to be built up again, it needs to be changed.”

Cardinal Rodríguez warned  that the recession will create more unemployment and there will be knock-on effects from this. He says that remittances from Latin American immigrants in the USA have already started to go down.

The Church has a key role in establishing rules and guaranteeing everyone’s well-being, said the Cardinal.

“What we’re seeing today is above all an ethical crisis, where people don’t limit their wants,” he said. “This goes as much for military spending as it does for the housing boom. The world doesn’t just revolve around money, there are other values.”

The Cardinal said that lack of trust as well as fear have contributed to the current climate.

“Fear rules us,” he said. “Fear of losing our money, fear of other nations, fear of not being able to buy things.

“Post-September 11th terrorism has achieved its aim: it has spread fear across the world and laid fertile ground for racism which produces poverty and closes societies.”

Cardinal Rodríguez said the current crisis is not about to end. On the contrary, it is only just beginning.

Read the full interview in Italian

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Filed under Advocacy, Development, Governance, High-Level Meetings and Events, MDG, Poverty Elimination

Caritas President in Austria

The Cardinal with Franz Kueberl, President of Caritas Austria and a young girl giving him a present

The Cardinal with Franz Kueberl, President of Caritas Austria and a young campaigner giving him a present

Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga told European Caritas delegates at a meeting in the Austria on 27 October that he feared rich countries would use the economic crisis to backtrack on aid pledges.

The Caritas Internationalis President said that promises made by rich countries to spend 0.7 percent of their annual budgets on development in poor countries had not been delivered.

Cardinal Rodríguez said that the globalised world is a divided one, with the rich making substantial profits and while many of the poor don’t receive the benefits.

He said it is the effort of the Catholic Church and civil society to create a globalization of solidarity to counter this situation.

He urged for “Global Marshal Plan” that included a fair distribution of goods so that nobody is excluded.

The meeting was hosted by Caritas Austria and included participants from many European Caritas members.

In the evening, Cardinal Rodríguez received the internationally distinguished Vickor Frankl prize for his work on psychotherapy at an event in Vienna.

Earlier in the week, the Vatican announced that Cardinal Rodríguez had been appointed on the council to prepare for the next Synod of Bishops.

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MDGs: One world, One storm

Discussing poverty at the UN
By Caritas President – Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga
(Spanish, French)


Cardinal Rodriguez interviewed at the UN high level poverty meeting

Cardinal Rodriguez interviewed at the UN high level poverty meeting

Bad weather delayed my journey from Honduras to New York. I suppose it’s no surprise considering the hurricanes that swept over the Caribbean recently, devastating parts of Haiti and bringing the threat of another Katrina to New Orleans.

It seems appropriate that I was going to a Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) meeting at the UN to speak on climate change  – something which affects us all, but some more than others.

Extreme weather events are becoming a fact of life, but my work with Caritas Internationalis has shown me that what may mean a late plane or ruined holidays for some people, means rebuilding lives from the beginning for others who are living in poorer countries.

For me, speaking at the MDG meeting as one of the few civil society leaders was a privilege because I could help the voices of these people be heard.

They are people who lose everything because of the whims of the weather, but don’t have the power to adapt their lives so it doesn’t happen again and again.

As I said in my speech at the UN, the MDGs are a catalyst for action and a way of measuring governments’ promises against what they actually do.

We may be at the halfway mark and good progress has been made in some areas, but some countries aren’t halfway there in achieving the targets.

Poverty reduction isn’t working and the global food and fuel crises mean that ever more people are getting poorer.

Caritas wants to ensure that those who are being left behind catch up before 2015. Our work encompasses all of the goals, from ending hunger and poverty to building people’s capacity to face the devastating effects of climate change and to backing a global partnership for development.

We’re taking a long hard look at ourselves to make sure that what we do is more effective in helping the development of these countries left behind.

But Caritas and other aid agencies can’t work effectively without the political will to put the brutal inequalities between rich and poor countries to the top of the global agenda.

As I was walking among the skyscrapers of Manhattan following  the UN poverty meeting I couldn’t help thinking about a cruel irony. While we were discussing pledging enough money to give the poor of the world the minimum standards of living, in the course of those same few days the US Government was discussing paying US$750 billion to bail out the US financial sector and mitigate the “financial storm” that had brewed in America.

Thousands of children are dying every day because of lack of food and medicines and people with very little are losing everything in floods, droughts and hurricanes that get worse as the years pass.

These people don’t live in the “developing world” or the “third world”, they live in our world.

The US$850 billion figure finally agreed upon to save America’s banks dwarfed the US$16 billion pledged to help the poor at the UN poverty  meeting.

When are we going to show the same commitment to bailing out our brothers and sisters living in poverty as we’re showing to bailing out our banks?
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ODM-Un mundo, una tempestad
Discutiendo sobre la pobreza en la ONU
del Presidente de Caritas, S.Em.a Óscar Andrés Cardenal Rodríguez Maradiaga

El mal tiempo retrasó mi viaje de Honduras a Nueva York. Imagino que eso no les sorprenda, sabiendo los huracanes que han azotado el Caribe últimamente, devastando zonas de Haití y con la amenaza de otro, parecido a Katrina, en Nueva Orleans.

Pero parece apropiado que yo estuvieran yendo a la reunión sobre los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio (OMS) a la ONU, para hablar sobre el cambio climático,  algo que nos afecta a todos, pero a algunos más que a otros. Las inclemencias del tiempo se están convirtiendo en hechos de la vida cotidiana, pero mi trabajo en Caritas Internationalis me ha enseñado que lo que para una persona significa que su avión se retrasó o que las vacaciones se le estropearon, para otras, que  viven en países pobres, quiere decir reconstruirse la vida desde el principio.

Para mí, hablar en la reunión de los OMD, como uno de los pocos líderes presentes de la sociedad civil, fue un privilegio, porque así pude ayudar a que las voces de esas personas fueran escuchadas.

Hay personas que lo han perdido todo, a causa de los caprichos del tiempo, pero no tienen el poder de adaptar sus vidas, para evitar que eso no suceda de nuevo. Como dije en mi discurso en la ONU, los ODM son catalizadores para la acción y una forma para comparar las promesas de los gobiernos, respecto a lo luego hacen realmente. Podemos estar a medio camino y haber hecho progresos relevantes, en algunos campos, sin embargo, algunos países no están a medio camino de alcanzar los objetivos. La reducción de la pobreza no está funcionando y las crisis mundiales de alimentos y carburante significan que ahora incluso un mayor número de personas se empobrecerán.

Caritas quiere asegurarse de que aquellos que ahora están quedando rezagados, puedan recuperarse antes del 2015. Nuestro trabajo abarca todos los objetivos, desde el terminar con el hambre y la pobreza, hasta la capacitación para afrontar los efectos devastadores del cambio climático y apoyar la cooperación mundial para el desarrollo. Nos estamos autoevaluando, con el fin de asegurarnos de que lo que estamos haciendo es realmente lo más eficaz para ayudar a esos países que quedan rezagados.

Sin embargo, Caritas y otras agencias humanitarias no pueden trabajar de manera eficaz, sin la voluntad política de incluir las escandalosas desigualdades entre los países ricos y los pobres como prioridades en la agenda mundial.

Mientras caminaba entre los rascacielos de Manhattan, tras la reunión sobre la pobreza en la ONU, no pude evitar pensar  en la cruel ironía de la realidad: estábamos discutiendo las promesas de incrementar la financiación para que los pobres del mundo puedan contar con unos estándares mínimos en sus vidas, mientras en esos mismos días, el Gobierno de EE.UU. discutía sobre los 750 mil millones  que quería destinar para sacar de apuros al sector financiero de EE.UU. y mitigar la “tempestad financiera” que se había gestado en América.

Millares de niños mueren cada día a causa de la falta de alimentos y medicinas y gente que ya tiene poco lo pierde todo en una inundación, por una sequía o un huracán, que con el paso de los años son cada vez peores. Esta gente no vive en el “mundo en vías de desarrollo”  o en el “tercer mundo”, vive en nuestro mundo.

Esos 850 mil millones acordados al final para salvar a los bancos americanos, merman los 16 mil millones prometidos para ayudar a los pobres, durante la reunión de la ONU. ¿Cuándo vamos a demostrar el mismo empeño que demostramos en sacar de apuros nuestros bancos, para sacar de apuros a nuestros hermanos y hermanas que viven en la pobreza?
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ODM – Un seul monde, une seule tempête
Discuter de la pauvreté aux Nations unies
le Président de Caritas – le Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga

Les mauvaises conditions météorologiques ont retardé mon voyage du Honduras à New York. Je suppose que cela n’a rien d’étonnant eu égard aux ouragans qui ont frappé les Caraïbes dernièrement, détruisant des zones d’Haïti et annonçant la menace d’un nouveau Katrina à La Nouvelle-Orléans.

Je me rendais justement à une réunion sur les Objectifs de développement du Millénaire (ODM) aux Nations Unies  pour parler des changements climatiques – une question qui touche nous tous, mais certains plus que d’autres.

Les événements météorologiques extrêmes deviennent une réalité, mais le travail avec Caritas Internationalis m’a montré que ce qui veut dire pour certains le retard d’un vol ou des vacances gâchées, pour d’autres, qui vivent dans les pays les plus pauvres, veut dire reconstruire une vie à partir de zéro.

M’exprimer à la réunion sur les ODM en tant que responsable de la société civile  a été pour moi un privilège, parce que j’ai  pu contribuer à faire entendre les voix de ces personnes.

Il s’agit de personnes qui perdent tout à cause des caprices météorologiques, et qui n’ont pas la possibilité d’adapter leurs vies pour éviter que cela ne se reproduise sans cesse.

Comme je l’ai dit dans mon discours aux Nations unies, les ODM sont un catalyseur de l’action et un moyen de mesurer ce que les gouvernements font réellement par rapport à leurs promesses d’engagement.

Nous avons peut-être fait la moitié du chemin jusqu’à la date cible et de bons progrès ont été accomplis dans certains domaines, mais certains pays n’en sont pas là.

La  réduction de la pauvreté n’avance pas, et la crise alimentaire et la crise des carburants qui touchent le monde entier entraînent, plus que jamais, l’appauvrissement d’un plus grand nombre de personnes.

Caritas veut faire en sorte que ceux qui ont accusé un retard puissent se rattraper avant 2015. Notre action englobe tous les objectifs : mettre un terme à la faim et à la pauvreté, renforcer les capacités des personnes à faire face aux effets dévastateurs des changements climatiques. soutenir un partenariat mondial pour le développement.

Nous examinons très attentivement ce que nous faisons afin de pouvoir contribuer d’une manière plus efficace au développement de ces pays qui sont en retard.

Or, Caritas et d’autres organisations humanitaires ne pourront pas œuvrer de façon efficace sans la volonté politique de placer les graves inégalités entre pays riches et pays pauvres parmi les priorités mondiales.

En me promenant au milieu des gratte-ciels de Manhattan, après la réunion sur la pauvreté aux Nations unies, je n’ai pu m’empêcher de penser à cette cruelle ironie : pendant que nous discutions de promettre des fonds suffisants pour donner aux plus démunis de la planète  un niveau de vie minimum, au cours de ces mêmes journées, le gouvernement des Etats-Unis discutait de payer 750 milliards USD pour dépanner le secteur financier et atténuer les effets de la “tempête financière” qui se préparait en Amérique.

Des milliers d’enfants meurent chaque jour à cause du manque de vivres et de médicaments, et des personnes perdent le peu qu’elles ont à la suite des inondations, des sécheresses et des ouragans qui s’intensifient au fur et à mesure que les années passent.

Ces personnes ne vivent pas dans le “monde en développement” ou dans le “tiers monde”, elles vivent dans notre monde.

Face à la somme de 850 milliards USD qui a été finalement établie pour sauver les banques d’Amérique, les 16 milliards USD promis pour aider les plus démunis à la réunion sur la pauvreté des Nations unies semble une bien petite somme.

Quand nous engagerons-nous à dépanner nos frères et sœurs qui vivent dans la pauvreté comme nous le faisons avec nos banques?
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