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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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News Archives » South America


Stations of the Forest March 10th, 2014

We would like to thank the Columban Fathers for the powerful Stations of the Forest video. It is a compelling narrative of the destruction of the forest that has ruined ecosystems from the Philippines to Brazil – a destruction that imperils the world.

Following the format of The Stations of the Cross this prayerful resource laments the stages in the death of part of God’s Creation. It incorporates issues related to rainforest destruction: extractive industries, loss of biodiversity and climate change.

A Booklet accompanies the DVD, providing the script, an agenda for meetings, a reflection on the Stations, and prayers. (download booklet here)

Download – The Grace of Forests Lenten resource

 

 

 


Predatory Hedge Funds and Argentina Face Supreme Court Showdown December 17th, 2013

Majority Debt Holders Seek to End Standoff between Argentina and Holdouts

Argentina is expected to appeal to the US Supreme Court by mid-February in response to a US 2nd Circuit Court ruling ordering the country to pay $1.33 billion to predatory hedge funds. The precedent the case sets will hurt poor countries in financial distress and could allow a small group of hedge funds to target assets that benefit vulnerable populations. At the same time, debt holders who restructured their debt with Argentina have hired lawyers to help negotiate the dispute between holdout hedge funds and Argentina. Nearly 93% of debt holders restructured their debt with Argentina after the 2001 default. The majority of bondholders are concerned that their settlements could be disrupted if hedge funds win the final ruling.

“We agree with the concerns of the restructured bondholders,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, a faith-based antipoverty organization. “We join the IMF, World Bank and White House in denouncing this extreme hedge fund behavior that takes advantage of the world’s poorest people.”

Click here to read more »


Dialogue on Life and Mining from Latin America December 10th, 2013

Religious and Lay representatives from Latin America, “moved by the critical situation of our peoples vis-à-vis the extractive industry”, met in Lima in November 2013. Concerned that mining is a source of “constant and serious conflict” in many countries of Latin and Central American countries, the attendees wanted to develop a vigorous and supportive set of local and international networks to help address the destructive impacts of mining. The Missionary Oblates were represented by Fr. Gilberto Pauwels OMI from Bolivia, and Fr. Seamus Finn OMI from the United States and through their participation in VIVAT, a coalition of religious congregations with ECOSOC status at the United Nations.

There are a number of outcomes from the gathering that included reaching out to a larger number of communities affected by mining, engaging with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace at the Vatican and convening a broader consultation on the challenges of extractives in the second half of 2014.

Extractives, mining oil and gas exploration, play an important role across the world while also imposing great intrusion and damage in local communities and on the environment where they operate. The search for a way forward that addresses the most serious of those negative impacts has been taken up by a number of different initiatives in the academic, business, stakeholder and shareholder and NGO sectors. Hopefully gatherings like the meeting in Lima can make a constructive contribution to that process.

Read the statement: Dialogue on Life and Mining: Open letter from religious and lay stewards of the goods of creation in Latin America


Pope Francis to launch “Food for All” campaign November 20th, 2013

On December 10, Pope Francis will launch a worldwide movement to respond to the needs of the poor and vulnerable by acting to end hunger. Access to adequate and nutritious food is a global problem of immense proportions, even for families in the U.S.

At noon local time, a global wave of prayer will begin in Tonga and will progress around the world until it reaches American Samoa some 24 hours and more than 164 countries later.

Please join Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, and the network of Caritas Internationalis agencies providing relief to people suffering from hunger around the globe in participating in the wave of prayer. This is the beginning of a much larger campaign to combat hunger.

In addition, please check out the faith-based resource on poverty and hunger available from Catholic Rural Life, called Food Security and Economic Justice.

 

 


Philippine Plea for Action on Climate November 19th, 2013

In the wake of Supertyphoon Haiyan, Yeb Sano, Philippine delegate to the international climate negotiations in Warsaw, made an impassioned plea to take action and “stop the madness” that is climate change. Below is an edited video of his address, with scenes of the devastation in the Philippines alongside. It is a powerful video in this second week of the climate negotiations, a major focus of which is financing for climate friendly investments for developing nations.

 


Vatican Seminar on Human Trafficking November 15th, 2013

The following is taken, with our thanks, from the Stop Trafficking!, the newsletter opposed to human slavery supported by a broad coalition of organizations of Catholic Sisters. 

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Following a wish expressed by Pope Francis, the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and of Social Sciences (PASS) and the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC), organized a seminar entitled, “Trafficking in Human Beings: Modern Slavery. Destitute Peoples and the Message of Jesus Christ”.

The November 2-3, 2013 seminar, held in Vatican City, brought together some seventy delegates from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Guatemala, Ireland, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, and the USA. The UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo from Nigeria, was among the twenty-two speakers.

The sixty observers in attendance were asked to contribute concrete proposals through which the global Church could better respond to the plight of millions of enslaved peoples.

Pope Francis was directly involved in combating modern day slavery in Buenos Aires, where he actively supported the work of the Fundacion Alameda, an Argentinian organization headed by Gustavo Vera, another of the speakers. The Pope’s first trip after his election was to Lampedusa to pay tribute to the hundreds who had recently died at sea, trying to reach this island half-way between Sicily and Tunisia where many victims of human trafficking end up.

Read more about this conference and efforts to stop human trafficking in the November issue of Stop Trafficking! 

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