join in solidarity with all people suffering the individual and systemic violence whose root cause is racism.
As we struggle with our own racism, we work to change our systems to be more inclusive, transparent and respectful. We seek to do this in a non-violent manner which creates neither victims nor oppressors.
In order to build the Beloved Community, we strive to see the connections between systemic racism and the lack of affordable housing, quality health care, sustainable wages and equal educational opportunities.
As people of faith who believe in the goodness of God, we must acknowledge and examine our own white privilege and its role in creating unjust systems which exist within our society.
The present crisis challenges us to join with others in prayer, reflection and action in a spirit of HOPE.
(This statement is an outgrowth of ‘Idea Bowl’ conversation on Anti-Racism held at the East/West National Gathering, July 9, 2016 in Baltimore, MD. It is the hope of those involved in the conversation that this statement be distributed widely within our various networks i.e. colleagues, co-workers, family members etc.)
The day’s first reading, taken from the Letter of Saint James, is a forceful warning to the rich who accumulate wealth by exploiting the people. “Riches in themselves are good,” the Pope explained, but they are “relative, not absolute” goods. He criticized the so-called “theology of prosperity”— according to which “God shows you that you are just if He give you great riches,” saying those who follow it are mistaken. The problem lies in being attached to wealth, because, as the Pope recalled, “You cannot serve both God and riches.” These become “chains” that “take away the freedom to follow Jesus.” In the reading, St James writes, “Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.” When riches are created by exploiting the people, by those rich people who exploit [others], they take advantage of the work of the people, and those poor people become slaves. We think of the here and now, the same thing happens all over the world. “I want to work.” “Good, they’ll make you a contract, from September to June.” Without a pension, without health care… Then they suspend it, and in July and August they have to eat air. And in September, they laugh at you about it. Those who do that are true bloodsuckers, and they live by spilling the blood of the people who they make slaves of labour.
Human trafficking is an incredibly large — and undoubtedly upsetting — industry.
It rakes in an estimated $150 billion worldwide every year, coming in as one of the largest illegal trades alongside drug trafficking, arms trade and wildlife trafficking. But the realities of human trafficking are often ignored — and not just because we rarely talk about modern slavery.
How we currently talk about human trafficking can be just as harmful. It’s often riddled with misconceptions and myths, leaving the majority of us misinformed or under-informed about the ways it affects the world. But this isn’t entirely surprising, considering the criminal practice’s secretive nature. Confronting the truth, after all, is more difficult with everything under wraps. Continue reading 6 myths about human trafficking we all need to stop believing→
In March the President of the electoral commission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mr. Cornielle Nangaa, was in Washington, D.C. to meet with partners and share with them the status of the electoral process in his country. The presidential election, one of the eleven elections required by law in the DRC, is currently the main concern of the opposition, pressure groups, religious institutions and the international community. During Mr. Nangaa’s address to civil society and pressure groups at the DRC Embassy in Washington he explained some key facts and answered a number of questions which are summarized below. Continue reading The DRC Elections: the Electoral Commission’s Chairman Explains→
The Vatican is funding a job-creation programme for Iraqi refugees in Jordan, a country that is hosting close to 1.5 million refugees, but is struggling to provide work for them.
With €132,000 donated to the Vatican by visitors to its pavilion at the World’s Fair in Milan in 2015, the Vatican will provide the funding that Caritas Jordan needs to launch the project.
Fifteen Iraqi refugees will have full-time work cultivating, producing and selling vegetables and oil, said a communique from the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vatican office which promotes and distributes Catholic charity. The jobs will allow them to provide for their families and become self-supporting, the office said.
Another 200 Iraqi refugees will be given training in carpentry, agriculture and the food industry, Cor Unum said, and an additional 500 will be given seasonal employment. Continue reading Vatican funds job-creation project for refugees in Jordan→
A coalition of 16 opposition parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo has nominated Moise Katumbi as their presidential candidate for the November poll. The former governor of Katanga is yet to accept the nomination.
As the Democratic Republic of Congo gears up for elections scheduled for November, opposition parties are strategizing how best to win at the ballot box. Incumbent President Joseph Kabila’s second term is coming to an end in December and the constitution bars him from running for another term. Continue reading ‘DR Congo entering period of political contestation’→
Independent Catholic News
Catholic and Muslim experts in inter-religious dialogue have issued a joint statement stressing their shared beliefs as a basis for peaceful coexistence and cooperation for the common good. The statement includes eight points of convergence, including a call for basic human rights to be protected by law, a pledge of solidarity with all those in need, a rejection of all forms of proselytism and a focus on the right of young people to an education that is “respectful of diversity.” Continue reading Vatican: Catholic-Muslim meeting highlights shared beliefs→