Advocacy, Catholics Confront Global Poverty

Reflections from World Leaders’ Meetings in New York and Pittsburgh

As I’m driving from Washington DC to Pittsburgh, I find myself reflecting on my trip to New York City on September 20. There I gathered with Catholic bishops and lay leaders from Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa at a mass celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York and chair of the CRS Board. The liturgy was moving. The congregation was diverse. And the homily by Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien of Scotland was powerful. The message of that gathering at the Church of the Holy Family, a stone’s throw away from the United Nations headquarters, was simple—don’t forget the poor members of the human family in addressing global climate change.

I arrived in Pittsburgh the evening of September 22. I have joined Bishop William Winter, Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Pittsburgh, and a diverse group of religious leaders assembled by Bread for the World on the eve of the G-20 Summit. That night we reflected and prayed. Yesterday we held a press conference and prayed some more. And again the message is simple—don’t forget poor and hungry people in our own nation and around the world as we address the global financial crisis and the global climate change crisis.

Both events remind me of the importance and significance of the Catholics Confront Global Poverty initiative. Our message to the world leaders who will gather at the G-20 is simple, yet profound—don’t forget those who are poor.

– Dr. Stephen Colecchi, Director, Office of International Justice and Peace
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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