Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation

Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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UNCTAD Meeting Overcomes Serious Disagreements April 27th, 2012

At a contentious meeting of the UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) ending Thursday in Doha, Qatar, the role of the UN organization in examining trade and development was confirmed, but not after a week of hard debate. The Doha Mandate, adopted by consensus by the member States, requests that UNCTAD continue its work along the three pillars of consensus-building, policy research and technical assistance. “UNCTAD remains the focal point in the United Nations for the integrated treatment of trade and development, and interrelated issues in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development,” reads part of the agreed text.

Profound discord between industrialized nations and developing countries threatened to ruin the UNCTAD meeting in Doha, and endangered the survival of this United Nations body that defends the interests of the developing nations of the South. Disagreements between the blocs, broadly identified as countries of the North and of the South, have arisen mainly from differing views of UNCTAD’s mandate and different visions of development and how it relates to social, environmental, economic and financial variables. 

One important area under discussion involved giving UNCTAD a mandate to investigate the current global financial crisis and its effects on the real economy, something for which developing countries and NGOs pressed, but which industrialized countries rejected out of hand.

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On St. Patrick’s Day, Protect the Irish March 19th, 2012

Rev. Seamus P. Finn, OMI and Eric LeCompte, Director of Jubilee USA – wrote a joint piece on the legitimacy, or lack thereof, of international debt burdens. Their full article can be found on the Huffington Post:

“On the Feast of St. Patrick, there may be no better way to honor the patron of Ireland, who according to legend drove out snakes from the country, than by protecting the Irish people from bailing out a nonexistent reckless speculation bank.

Anglo-Irish Bank (Anglo) financed some of Ireland’s worst property speculators for unsustainable golf courses, hotels and super markets and saddled the Irish people with a massive, unjust debt.

At Jubilee USA Network we know a lot about unjust debts. …”

Read the full blog post.


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Seamus Finn, OMI on Nightly Business Report: Discusses Impact of Derivatives on the Poor June 7th, 2010

Fr. Seamus Finn’s work on derivatives is profiled on PBS’s Nightly Business Report.

Watch the Nightly Business Report from June 7, 2010…


How doesNBR the financial system affect the poorest of the poor? Watch the June 7th issue of the Nightly Business Report for a segment on faith-based investors and efforts to rein in the derivatives market – a cause of the recent instability that has affected nearly everyone.

In an interview with Darren Gersh, Seamus Finn, OMI clearly draws the connections between decisions made by bankers and the lives of the poor. Fr. Finn talks about the need for greater disclosure of derivative risk – disclosure that a significant number of other shareholders have favored in recent Resolutions with Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs. Up next is legislation on Capitol Hill that could force banks to spin off their derivatives business.

Watch the Nightly Business Report from June 7, 2010 on Vimeo…

Haiti : Vatican Radio Interview March 1st, 2010

w-haiti-rubble-cp-8005393In an interview with Vatican Radio,  Séamus Finn, OMI – Director of the US Oblate JPIC Office – talks about the situation in Haiti and  re-development needs of the devastated country. The Oblates are the largest male religious congregation in the country. In the interview, he touches on important Haitian realities: the poverty, the stranglehold of Haiti’s debt and a process for re-building.

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Call Congress today: Follow Haiti’s example and drop the debt February 19th, 2010

changenotchainsbannerThe most impoverished countries in the world still pay $100 million per day in debt service to the wealthiest countries. Because they can’t invest those resources in health, education, services, and infrastructure, they are more vulnerable to catastrophes like the one Haiti has suffered.

Please help us flood Congress with calls to support expanded debt cancellation for the poorest countries.

Learn more and take action using our Action Alert

Oblate Superior General’s Meditation: The African Synod – “A breath of fresh air” November 10th, 2009

The Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops took place in Rome on 4-25 October on the theme The Church in Africa in Service to Reconciliation, Justice and Peace. Missionary Oblates Superior General Rev. Fr. Wilhelm Steckling OMI looked at the African Synod in his November missionary reflection statement, which we would like to share here.

Oblates have been present in Africa since Saint Eugene’s time and its importance for our Congregation keeps increasing. What do we know about Africa? While the Continent occasionally appears on the world news there is still too much silence about it. Very recently we got an opportunity to hear what our African Church leaders are saying about their Continent and I invite us all to lend them listening ears.

The first Synod for Africa was held 15 years ago. I still remember the opening ceremony, I had just settled here in Rome. As it seems, that synod was mostly a time to become acquainted. The post-synodal document, “Ecclesia in Africa”, inspired us with the image of “the Church as God’s Family” which it took “as its guiding idea for the evangelization of Africa” (EIA 63).

The “Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops” ended a week ago. It focused on “The Church in Africa in service to reconciliation, justice and peace”. Among the 240 participant bishops, eight were Oblates, and among the almost equal number of auditors, experts, fraternal delegates and helpers we had, for the first time, five of our scholastics involved, offering different services.

We will have to wait a few months for the main document to appear but the message given at the conclusion is already out. I found it particularly outspoken and striking, and to read the whole text is worthwhile. Let me highlight just a few points, in three steps. While the message tells us how the African Synod sees its continent, it may also offer us inspiration for our mission in other parts of the world.

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