This ecumenical study day uses Pope Francis’ Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ as a starting point to see how churches and communities CAN make a difference – practically, politically, educationally and spiritually.
Speakers include ELLEN TEAGUE (Coumban Missionaries) and RUTH VALERIO (A Rocha, Tear Fund) as well as local experience of embracing the Eco Church and Live Simply initiatives
All are very welcome
Admission is free but booking is strongly recommended.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries.
More information and booking details
Statement from Maurizio Crivallero, Save the Children’s Iraq Country Director:
Sunday, 19 February 2017 – 11:12am
“An estimated 350,000 children are trapped in western Mosul, and the impact of artillery and other explosive weaponry in those narrow, densely-populated streets is likely to be more deadly and indiscriminate than anything we have seen in the conflict so far.
“Families in western Mosul tell us escape is not an option – if they try to flee they risk summary execution by ISIS fighters or a gauntlet of sniper fire and landmines. Last week we heard of a family of nine who were all shot as they tried to flee. People trapped in their homes are running out of food, water and medicine.
“This is the grim choice for children in western Mosul right now: bombs, crossfire and hunger if they stay – or execution and snipers if they try to run.
“Iraqi forces and their allies, including the US and UK, must do everything in their power to protect children and their families from harm, and avoid civilian buildings like schools and hospitals as they push deeper into the city. To a child it doesn’t matter where the bombs come from — it’s where they fall.
“Safe escape routes for civilians must also be established as soon as possible. Once families have made it out, we can reach them with life-saving aid and start helping children to rebuild their lives after more than two years under ISIS rule.”
More information here
“If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? ….If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?” (Matt 5:46-47)
In this edition T4CG highlights examples of this reconciliation instinct at work across the churches – in communities, business, financial inclusion, relationship building.
Download newsletter here:
A Sabbath for the Earth and the Poor:
The challenge of Pope Francis
Friday 21 – Sunday 23 July 2017
The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire.
More information here
ACAT UK very much regrets the suggestion made by President Donald Trump that the USA would consider re-introducing ‘Waterboarding’ during the next few months.
Being realistic it is unlikely to happen because of the likely opposition from within the Senate and the Congress. It is reported that Republican Senator John McCain said yesterday that even if President Donald Trump were to sign an executive order allowing torture, US law is clear on the practice.
“The President can sign whatever executive orders he likes. But the law is the law. We are not bringing back torture in the United States of America,” the Arizona senator said in a statement. It also appears that President Trump’s Cabinet members, including his Defense Secretary James Mattis and the CIA Chief Mike Pompeo disagree with the President on this matter.
We greet this response with gratitude and relief although we cannot disregard the statements of the new President. This matter will be kept under constant review by ACAT worldwide.
ACAT UK stands by the UN Declaration of Human Rights when it says in Article 5 –
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
We stand with Archbishop Romero of El Salvador when he said –
“Whoever tortures a human being, whoever abuses a human being, whoever outrages a human being abuses God’s image, and the Church takes as its own that cross, that martyrdom”
Read more about Action by Christians against Torture UK here
Saturday 18 February 2017
10.30 – 4.00
Oxford Place Centre, Oxford Place, Leeds LS1 3AX
A day of short inputs, drama, prayer and interactive workshops to help us listen better to others and to understand their real needs. This event has been organised in conjunction with Leeds Justice & Peace Commission.
During the day there will be opportunities to meet with justice and peace activists from around the country.
How many of us have been moved to tears during the past few days as we watched our youngest children take part in the many Nativity plays being presented to proud parents and grandparents? Rightly so, our children, and everyone else’s, are precious and thrive on being loved, protected and affirmed.
In the reading from St. Matthew’s Gospel for the fourth Sunday in Advent we read of the soon to be born child, Emmanuel a name meaning “God is with us” This child who was born a stranger in a town unwilling to welcome and provide shelter for his family.
Again how many of us will gather around the crib in our various places of worship and feel truly blessed as we listen to the sweet music of the well loved carol ‘Silent Night’ and then return home to ‘sleep in heavenly peace’?
Our slumber needs to be seriously disturbed so that we wake up to the harsh reality in evidence all around us. We must listen to and respond to other stories this Christmas, ones that should make us feel much less cosy.
In his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Lætitia Pope Francis urges us all to keep in mind the following words of the Pontifical Council on the Family, (22 October 1983)
“the family has the right to decent housing, fitting for family life and commensurate to the number of the members, in a physical environment that provides the basic services for the life of the family and the community. Families and homes go together and should be able to count on an adequate family policy on the part of public authorities in the juridical, economic, social and fiscal domains”
So, in this bleak mid- winter (not long ago) as we raise our voices and proclaim that had we been present we would have brought lambs, done our part and given our hearts, will we really mean it?
Anne Peacey 23.12.16
Comment for Catholic Universe 23/30.12.16
NJPN issued the following statement in response to a request from the Catholic Universe for a contribution to the debate on the challenges facing the failing care system.
A key principle of Catholic Social Teaching is belief in the inherent dignity of all people and that a society’s moral compass can be measured by the way it treats its most vulnerable members.
In Gaudium et Spes we read that:
“There must be made available to all people everything necessary for leading a life truly human” and further that “the social order and its development must invariably work to the benefit of the human person” (para.26)
At the moment we can feel totally overwhelmed and helpless as we hear the stories of the many vulnerable groups within our society, some in work others feeling isolated and excluded. Just how do those in need of suitable housing, adequate medical and social care, mental health provision, a living wage, justice in the workplace, feel valued and supported?
A range of issues but each one the lived experience of many in our society. Hard political decisions must be made but it is just not good enough that we are accepting of a situation where the financial and social burdens are placed unfairly on those least able to carry the load.
Anne Peacey 16.12.16
Every day of our lives we are called upon to make choices and the season of Advent is an appropriate time to consider the choices that will shape our lives and the lives of others.
Next week, just one week after the Chancellor’s autumn statement, foodbanks across the country are gearing up for the annual ‘Neighbourhood Food Collection’. Many will choose to donate items of food at their local supermarkets to help others enjoy the season of ‘peace and goodwill to all’ Individuals, small groups and a number of local pubs are already preparing to host Christmas meals and fellowship for our brothers and sisters unable to provide well for themselves. This is surely entering into the true spirit of Christmas. At the grassroots level, the real world for most people, we can see solidarity at work where we see a need and then respond. How often do we hear such remarks as ‘there but for the grace of God…….’?
In its recent report (UK poverty: Causes, costs and solutions. Sept.16) the Joseph Rowntree Foundation states that ‘UK poverty is real, costly and harmful’
How can this be right when the IMF predicts that ours will ‘be the fastest growing major advanced economy in the world this year’, In his autumn statement the Chancellor speaks of raising productivity and building an economy that works for everyone, so why then do so many feel excluded?
Whilst acknowledging some positive aspects in the statement, there remains a huge disconnect between the decision makers and those who bear the heaviest burden of such policies.
We must consider and challenge our elected representatives for the choices made on our behalf. In the words of Pope Francis do we say ‘no to an economy of exclusion and inequality’ (Evangelii Gaudium: para.53) and invest in mental and physical health and well-being, social housing and access to good education to build a good society. Or do we seek productivity and profit whatever the human cost.
Anne Peacey. Chair – NJPN
The Lord hears the cry of the poor, blessed be the Lord (Psalm 34)
Statement from NJPN for Catholic Universe: Monday 7 November 2016
As an organisation rooted in Catholic Social thought we are called to listen to those who cry out and to add our voices to the pleas of those who feel alienated and ignored. In a society where it appears that economic value overrides human dignity, we must look beyond mere statistics which tell us very little of the daily struggle that many families face in order to make a ‘good’ life.
As a society we recognise that family is the bedrock of our society and our future lies in the protection and nurturing of our children. Yet many households affected by the new benefit cap include children, who will feel deprived of many of the advantages enjoyed by their peer group. This is a grave injustice which diminishes all.
Children living in poverty have limited access to all the advantages that lead to a happy childhood and their development into fully rounded human beings able to make a valuable contribution to society.
Educational opportunity needs more than just subsistence level funding, this leads to inequality of opportunity lower levels of aspiration, disenchantment and alienation which affects us all.
We must continue in our efforts to listen and respond to the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves and challenge the structures and legislation which lead to division and inequality within our society.
Anne Peacey. Chair, NJPN
NJPN Office, 39 Eccleston Square, London SW 1V 1BX
T: 020 7901 4864