By Ferruccio Ferrante, communications officer with Caritas Italy “Wherever you go, you’ll find Caritas” was the name of Caritas Italy’s conference which looked at issues surrounding migrants, young people, families, people facing life alone and those suffering from addictions. Over 600 people from 161 diocesan Caritas brought with them their own experiences of working with Caritas in Italy and went away having shared and gained greater knowledge and hope. In this time of difficulty when the crisis increases its grip, Caritas is by people’s side all over Italy. In the first six months of 2012, requests for help from Caritas increased by 44.5% compared to the previous year. Caritas finds itself with a great responsibility: how to continue to accompany people in their difficulties. It’s a responsibility that can’t be passed over to someone else because each of us must be a champion of change for the common good. But how can we [...]
Caritas Rome provides accommodation through its shelters to poor and vulnerable individuals needing a place to sleep. Some people staying at the shelters have written the below letter to Pope Francis following Lenten reflections. The letter was presented to the Holy Father by the director of Caritas Rome, Msgr Enrico Feroci. Your Holiness, We are guests at Caritas shelters in Rome. Even though you have been Bishop of Rome for very little time, we feel a sense of respect and solidarity which makes us feel very close to you and gives us the impression that we’ve always known you. The choice of your name and what you say in your speeches which we have reflected on during Lent show us daily the essence of the Christian faith: that God is love. Our difficult situation allows us to know firsthand how important a gesture of solidarity can be and the comfort a hug or [...]
By Michelle Hough ‘Lady Poverty’ was St Francis’s bride and Pope Francis has put the need for commitment to the poor up front and centre from the very beginning of his pontificate. After two days of voting, white smoke puffed out of the tiny chimney above St Peter’s Square on 13th March 2013. The man who came out on the massive balcony in front of St Peter’s basilica as the new Pope was unknown to many outside of his native Argentina. The new Pope Francis is a man who visited slums and rode on buses. He is a man who refused the fur-trimmed cloak, red leather shoes and gold cross worn by previous Popes. He is a man of startling simplicity. The Pope spoke to the crowd that night in his role as Bishop of Rome and protector of the poor: “And now let us begin this journey, bishop and people, this journey [...]
By Emilie Johann, guest blogger in Doha for CIDSE Overall, discussions have been difficult and ministerial roundtables have taken several thorny issues from the technical to the political level. Will Ministers be up for the challenge to inject some political will and move beyond national interests to respond to the urgent needs of the poorest and for the sake of our common future? Concerning the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) there is no sign of progress on ambition. The EU will not move beyond its current -20% target unless other parties move, and it is unwilling to consider the cancellation of carbon credits in KP2. So far none of the parties present have announced urgently needed more ambitious emission cuts. A weak KP2 is a bad sign in terms of the trust and ambition needed to build a new global climate deal which includes all parties, not […]
By guest blogger Roeland Scholtalbers, CIDSE Media & Communication Officer in Doha After a week of negotiations with little to no progress, Ministers arrive in Doha among increasing uncertainty about a positive outcome of the climate talks. Once a modest fishing village, Doha rapidly transformed into a busy capital of a rich nation when enormous gas reserves were discovered. The plane that took me to Qatar circulated for nearly an hour in the dark above the luminous city. It felt like hanging over a giant pinball machine and I couldn’t help wondering whether planet earth was going to finish beyond the flippers of the climate change negotiations. Organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), this year’s climate talks entered their second and final week yesterday (Monday, December 3rd). Today, Government Ministers make their appearance in Doha to firm up agreements their climate negotiators prepared during 2012 […]
by Zar Gomez, Caritas Asia coordinator Now on its third day since the start of the UNFCCC meeting in Doha, Qatar, the exhibit booth of the 4-member delegation of Caritas Internationalis proves to be among the largest crowd-drawers at the Exhibit Hall 4 of the Qatar National Convention Centre.
Droughts across West Africa, storms smashing into North America and the Caribbean, glaciers melting faster than imagined: the impact of bad and unusual weather patterns were clearly visible in 2012. But what was less clear was the political and public will to make the sacrifices necessary to address the driving forces behind climate change and its impact on the poor and vulnerable. The UN Climate Change Conference is meeting once more, this time in Doha, Qatar 26 November -7 December. Caritas believes 2012 is an important year in these negotiations. Government must build on some of the breakthroughs made at the Durban conference held this time last year. They must come up with concrete proposals on greater cuts in Green House Gas emissions, money to support vulnerable communities most affected by climate change and a clear work plan towards a global climate deal in 2015. Read our statement paper The Caritas confederation of [...]