Confronting Poverty With Experience, Relationships, Teaching

After Bishop Howard Hubbard gave his passionate speech about the new Catholics Confront Global Poverty Campaign, CRS President Ken Hackett took to the stage with an equally poignant message. His words are as follows:

The Catholic Church in the United States brings three assets to the Catholics Confront Global Poverty initiative: experience, relationships, and teaching.

The Church in the United States has broad and deep experience reaching out to our brothers and sisters in need throughout the world. Catholic lay movements and religious communities of men and women sponsor numerous missions and educational and humanitarian organizations throughout the globe. The Bishops’ Conference founded CRS, the official relief and development agency of the Catholic community, which is active in more than 100 countries around the world.

The Catholic Church in our nation also has profound and abiding relationships with the Church in many developing nations. We are part of a worldwide community of faith. Both USCCB and CRS listen carefully to the Church in developing countries as we seek to serve the needs of the poorest members of the human family.

Finally, our Church has a rich body of teaching that offers principles that will guide our initiative. The USCCB continues to articulate and apply these principles to the challenge of global poverty. These principles include:

• The life and dignity of the human person
• The common good, participation and subsidiarity
• The option for the poor and the vulnerable
• A commitment to peace and reconciliation

This experience, these relationships, and this rich body of the bishops’ teaching give credibility and help shape Catholics Confront Global Poverty.

Hackett then introduced a voice from the developing world – Archbishop John Baptist Odama, Archbishop of Gulu, Uganda. Known for his courageous leadership in the midst of the poverty and violence that has plagued Northern Uganda, his prophetic pastoral letters have called the people of northern Uganda to abandon violence and to seek justice and reconciliation.

Archbishop Odama was invited to the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering to explore the role of the Church in Africa in promoting reconciliation, justice and peace, and point out ways the Church in the United States can encourage actions to support justice and peace in Africa.

– Elizabeth Griffin, CRS director of communications

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