September 22, 2010

Synod for Middle East can bring communities together

By |22 September 2010|

Caritas says the upcoming Synod for the Middle East can help divided communities come together for the region’s poorest people. The Synod will take place in Rome from 10 to 24 October. It is the first synod dedicated specifically to the Middle East. Church leaders will discuss problems ranging from the Israeli-Palestinian stand-off and conflict in Iraq, to radical Islamism, the economic crisis and the divisions among the region's many Christian churches. “The Synod presents an opportunity to assess the social, as well as the religious situation in the region,” said Lesley-Anne Knight, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis. “It can give Christians a clear vision of the significance of their presence in Muslim societies and their role and mission in the countries in which they live,” she said. “It is urgent to find new ways to work towards peace in this troubled part of the world. This is of vital importance not only [...]

Middle East Synod a symbol of peace

By |22 September 2010|

The first Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops will take place in Rome from 10 to 24 October. Caritas hopes the Synod can build bridges between faiths in a region wracked by conflict. Caritas will be represented at this event by representatives from the Middle East, sharing their practical experience in this fragile region. Read more on the Synod and Caritas: Interview with Joseph Farah, President of Caritas MONA: Middle East: a testing ground for the spirit of reconciliation Interview with Naguib Khouzam, General Supervisor of Caritas Egypt’s SETI Centre and Professor of Educational Psychology at Ain Shams University: Foster quality and transparency in charity work Caritas press release: Synod for Middle East can bring communities together Lesley-Anne Knight speech to Caritas MONA Regional Forum July 2010:  (Middle East and North Africa) Implications for Caritas of the Instrumentum Laboris of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod [...]

Middle East: a testing ground for the spirit of reconciliation

By |22 September 2010|

Interview with Joseph Farah, President of Caritas MONA (Middle East and North Africa)  What are your expectations for next week’s synod? What main challenges in this region should it address?  Mr. Farah: The Middle East is a fragile region. People feel insecure and have to face situations of permanent belligerence, in particular due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many people don’t manage to make ends meet. The Church is already very active in different fields. It stands up for reconciliation and peace. With its different organisations, one of whom is Caritas, it works to improve people’s lives. But it is not enough. We need to make greater effort. The Caritas MONA region is very vast. It goes from Mauritania to Iran. This region is very particular. At both the levels of religions and civilizations, it is pluralistic. This pluralism can even be found within the Catholic Church. There are Maronites, Syriacs, Greek, Armenian [...]

May 30, 2010

Archbishop Óscar Romero – a voice for the oppressed

By |30 May 2010|

For me the death of Archbishop Oscar Romero is one of the saddest moments of my life. By bravely speaking out on behalf of the poor and oppressed he paid with his death.

August 16, 2009

Be a Fairtrade pilgrim to Eternal City this Lent

By |16 August 2009|

Millions of people come to Rome every year – 2.2 million went to Papal audiences last year alone. Lent and Easter are particularly important times for people to make a pilgrimage to the Eternal City. Many would use fair-trade products at home but travelling in a foreign country it’s not so easy. Now there is a solution to that problem. The Economic Justice Group of the Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) is working group of Unions of Superiors General (USG/USIG). It’s a group of people from religious congregations based in Rome and also includes Caritas Internationalis. They’ve just published a booklet “Empowering the poor in the developing world” which contains a rundown of shops in Rome they’ve found selling fair-traded goods. The guide explains both what religious congregations are doing around the world and how they can make a difference starting with many of their headquarters here in Rome. But it’s [...]

Solidarity is key – Cardinal Rodríguez

By |17 August 2008|

“This is one of the most gratifying experiences, looking at the amount of good that can be done through solidarity among peoples.” Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga has said that solidarity with the poor is vital to the work of Caritas as he marks the first anniversary of his election as president of the network of 162 national charities. “This is a long road that has been made by doing good around the world. And this is one of the most gratifying experiences, looking at the amount of good that can be done through solidarity among peoples,” said the Cardinal. Cardinal Maradiaga saw the importance of solidarity on the ground when he visited Peru following a massive earthquake last year. “I was really amazed when I arrived at the warehouse of Caritas and I saw the amount of young men and women who were devoting their time just to help – this was really, [...]

Imagine globalisation based on solidarity: World Youth Day

By |16 August 2008|

The golden lion of the Sri Lankan flag fluttered in the icy breeze at a bus stop crowded with pilgrims attending Sydney’s World Youth Day in Australia. Beside the Sri Lankan colours, pilgrims waved a pennant displaying the Indian tricolour. Toward the back of the group, Pakistan’s green and white flag billowed. This small vignette from Sydney’s 2008 World Youth Day in which a group of sixty or so pilgrims from the restless Indian sub-continent came together in peace and harmony, was a clear indication of the power of such festivities. They joined 500,000 other young pilgrims from all around the world who had come to take part in a series of events in July with Pope Benedict XVI. Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga also travelled to Sydney. For WYD 2008, Caritas Australia hosted a broad programme under the banner: ‘Witness, Aspire, Act’. Calling on people to engage with issues [...]

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