Nuns With a New Creed: Environmentalism

The Atlantic

Angela Evancie Oct 16 2013

Genesis Farm, in Blairstown, New Jersey (Angela Evancie)
Genesis Farm, in Blairstown, New Jersey (Angela Evancie)

Every woman in this story is confoundedly non-descriptive. Short hair, often grey. Conservative dress. Unmarried; soft-spoken. Most are well into their seventies, and all will tell you that their way of life is dying out. They will also tell you, with surprising conviction, that the world is in peril.

They are Roman Catholic sisters, from a variety of orders—Dominican, Mercy, Passionist—but don’t think Whoopie Goldberg or a young Sally Field. While many of their aged peers are living out their days in quiet convents, these women are digging gardens and offsetting carbon. They’re as well-versed in solar and geothermal technology as they are in the Gospels of Luke and John, and some wear Carhartts and work boots like they’re habits. At the heart of the women’s action is a belief that the changing climate and world demand a new kind of vocation – that Ave Marias won’t cut it anymore, but maybe clean energy will. Called Green Sisters, or Sisters of Earth, they are pushing the bounds of their tradition toward a new, and deeply spiritual, kind of environmentalism.
Continue reading Nuns With a New Creed: Environmentalism

Kenya and the international court in a tangle

The Economist

Little mention has been made of justice for the 1,300-odd people that lost their lives in the post-electoral ethnic violence which Kenya’s two leaders are accused of masterminding in early 2008. The deferral suits everyone apart from the victims.

ken5The International Criminal Court (ICC) may have to wait to try its first sitting head of state after all. The prosecution of Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s president, remains in the balance less than a month before his trial is due to open in The Hague. A resolution passed on October 12th at a meeting of African leaders at the headquarters of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, demanded immunity for the continent’s leaders while in office. This has raised the pressure on the court and its backers. The UN Security Council must now decide whether to ignore the African demands or use its power to defer Mr Kenyatta’s trial for a year. A third option would be “trial by Skype”, should the ICC judges allow the Kenyan president to give evidence via a video link. Kenya’s vice-president, William Ruto (pictured on the right), whose separate trial is already underway, said on October 15th that he would continue to co-operate with the court if he is allowed “sporadic” absences from the hearings.
Continue reading Kenya and the international court in a tangle

Struggling U.S. Families Threatened by Food Stamp Cuts

By Ramy Srour

Homeless people in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library in Washington DC, waiting for shuttles that will take them to food shelters. Credit: Ramy Srour/IPS
Homeless people in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library in Washington DC, waiting for shuttles that will take them to food shelters. Credit: Ramy Srour/IPS

WASHINGTON, Oct 17 2013 (IPS) – Near the Martin Luther King Jr. Library in downtown Washington, just a few blocks away from the federal district, dozens of homeless men and women wait for the evening shuttles that will take them to their dinners at one of many food shelters around the city.

They can get by during the day with the few dimes and quarters spared by passersby, but the only daily meal they can really count on is the one they will get at the local food shelter, and so for them, hunger is a very real problem.
Continue reading Struggling U.S. Families Threatened by Food Stamp Cuts

Zimbabwe: Archbishop announces plan for Catholic radio station

Independent Catholic News

The Archbishop of Harare, Right Rev Robert Christopher Ndlovu, has announced the arrival of a Catholic community radio initiative that will start broadcasting once it gets a license from the government.

In a circular to all parish priests, heads of religious congregations and Catholic institutions in the Archdiocese, the Archbishop says the Catholic community radio station, *Radio Chiedza*, is being set up in preparation for the day when community radio stations will be licensed.

“The initiative is being led by Fr Nigel Johnson SJ along with the Director of Jesuit Communications, Mr Gift Mambipiri. As you may be aware, for the past ten years, both Fr Johnson and Mr Mambipiri have had wide experience of community radio initiatives in Zimbabwe.
Continue reading Zimbabwe: Archbishop announces plan for Catholic radio station

Public Letter to Pope Francisco 16/09/13

UISG JPIC (English and Portuguese)

Our Dearest Brother Pope Francis,
brazilWe, the undersigned Christians and members of other religions, support the proposal of the 5th Brazilian Social Week sponsored by the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) sending you this public letter with a very special request: that you convene a Global Assembly for the protection of life on Earth.

Today life has caused a deadly blow by starvation (900 million people in the world), by thirst (1.2 billion do not have potable water and 2.4 billion lack basic sanitation), by wars, by destruction of the environment (soil, water, biodiversity, air) and above all, over humanity and all life forms lurks threatening climate changes also caused by the unscrupulous action of mega economic groups. Continue reading Public Letter to Pope Francisco 16/09/13

Typhoon leaves 18 dead on Tokyo isle, in metro area

Japan Times

42 still missing on Izu-Oshima as dozens of houses collapse

japan9Typhoon Wipha brought strong winds and heavy rains to Tokyo early Wednesday, killing at least 17 people on Izu-Oshima Island and disrupting metropolitan area transportation systems during the morning rush hour.

On Izu-Oshima, which is in the Pacific about 120 km south of Tokyo, 17 bodies were found, while about 42 people remain missing, according to police sources, who added the number of collapsed houses may run into the dozens.
Continue reading Typhoon leaves 18 dead on Tokyo isle, in metro area

Pope Francis on World Food Day: The scandal of hunger and the globalization of indifference towards it

…break down “the barriers of individualism and the slavery of profit at all cost,”

Vatican Radio

food2October 16th is World Food Day and in a message to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization Pope Francis condemned the continuing scandal of hunger and malnutrition in today’s world and what he called a globalization of indifference towards it.

Pope Francis’s address was delivered by Monsignor Luigi Travaglino in a ceremony marking World Food Day at the Rome headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. In his message the Pope criticized what he called “a growing tendency for us to close in on ourselves saying this leads to a certain indifference on both a personal, institutional and state level” towards hunger as though “it were an inevitable fact.”
Continue reading Pope Francis on World Food Day: The scandal of hunger and the globalization of indifference towards it