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Catholics Confront Global Poverty

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  • Letter of Solidarity to Cardinal Sfeir on Murder of Lebanon's Former Prime Minister
  • Letter to President Clinton Concerning Lebanon and The Peace Process
  • Lebanon After the Israeli Withdrawal
  • Address of His Eminence Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir Beirut, Lebanon
  • Who are Christians in the Middle East?


    International Justice and Peace


    Happening Now

    Conference Registration: End Extreme Poverty Now:  Working Together with the Poor
    "We are called to confront the poverty of our brothers and sisters, to touch it, to make it our own and to take practical steps to alleviate it." — Pope Francis, 12/26/13

    Tues., April 28, 2015  4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
    Great Rooms of the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center
    The Catholic University of America (CUA)
    620 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington, DC
    To R.S.V.P. click here

    This conference features keynotes by two leading poverty experts: His Excellency Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and Mr. Alex Thier, Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning, U.S. Agency for International Development.  There will be a musical reflection and a round table discussion on successes to ending extreme poverty locally and internationally.  Sponsored by the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies (CUA), U.S. Agency for International Development, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA, and the Africa Faith & Justice Network, it is a joint effort to demonstrate that we can work together with the poor to end extreme poverty now! The conference is free and open to the public. For more information and to R.S.V.P. click here.

    Extractives Industry

    Bishop CantúI writes to express solidarity with and support for the Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (CELAM) in its petition for a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on the human rights implications of extractive industries in that region.

    Protecting the Poor and Vulnerable in the FY 2016 Appropriations Bill

    The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities USA, in a joint letter to the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations, urge Congress to resist cuts to both domestic and international food aid, as well as conservation and rural development programs.

    Religious Persecution
    Before the Senate Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs of the Committee on Appropriations, Bishop Oscar Cantú testifies on religious persecution with a focus on the Middle East.

    Funding for International Poverty-reducing Humanitarian and Development Assistance

    In a letter to the Senate and House Subcommittees on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, Bishop Oscar Cantú and Dr. Carolyn Woo request robust funding to address global poverty.

    Federal Budget Resolution for FY2016
    In a letter to Congress, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski and Bishop Oscar Cantú address the moral and human dimensions of the federal budget and urge protection of programs that serve poor and vulnerable people.

    In Response to the Murder of Coptic Christians in Libya
    Archbishop Kurtz and Bishop Cantú write to President Obama and to Congressional Leaders Concerning Religious Freedom Violations in the Middle East and the Authorization for Use of Military Force currently pending before Congress.

    Bishop Cantú writes to Congress Regarding the Cremisan Valley
    In a letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Bishop Oscar Cantú urges them to intervene with the Israeli government regarding their ongoing efforts to construct a barrier in the Cremisan Valley.

    National Interreligious Leadership Inititiative for Peace in the Middle East Writes to President Obama
    In a letter to President Obama, religious leaders urge the United States, in coordination with the Quartet, to present a framework for negotiating a two-state peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.

    Statement of the Co-ordination of Bishops' Conferences in Support of the Church in the Holy Land
    Bishop Oscar Cantú joined the annual meeting of bishops in the Holy Land and participated in the drafting of a statement calling for human dignity as the basis of peace.

    In a letter to congressional leaders, Bishop Cantú urges support for the United States and its P5 + 1 partners in their ongoing dialogue with Iran over its nuclear program.


    In an interview with Vatican Radio, Bishop Oscar Cantú states that intelligence-gathering techniques outlined in the Senate report violate basic moral principals.

    Bishop Oscar Cantú writes to congressional leaders of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to express support for the changes to the U.S. trade and travel embargo against Cuba announced by President Obama.

    News Release:  Bishop Cantú welcomes release of Alan Gross and change to U.S. policy toward Cuba.

    Bishop Oscar Cantú writes to the Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure regarding the expedited transfer of cleared detainees.

    Letter to Ambassador of Israel to the United States
    Bishop Cantú writes to Ambassador Dermer to offer condolences and to condemn the terrible murders and malicious injuring of worshippers at prayer in the synagogue in Har Nof, Jerusalem. He writes that innocent civilians should never be the direct targets of violent attacks and houses of worship ought to be respected as sacred sanctuaries.

    Ebola Outbreak
    Bishop Pates and Dr. Carolyn Woo, President of Catholic Relief Services, write to congressional leaders asking them to support proven efforts and responses in the fight against ebola.

    In a letter to the National Security Council, Bishop Pates and Dr. Carolyn Woo, President of Catholic Relief Services have welcomed the expanded response to the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa.

    U.S. Bishops Affirm Power of Prayer for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Following Pilgrimage to Holy LandNews Release
    U.S. bishops affirmed that prayer is powerful, peace is possible and that support for a two-state solution is an essential dimension of pursuing Israeli-Palestinian peace in a September 22 communique, following a Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace in the Holy Land. 

    Nuclear Weapons
    In a letter to Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, Bishop Pates expresses concern over the expanding U.S. budget for nuclear weapons.

    New Blog! To Go Forth
    Pain. Injustice. Brokenness. Hope. Love. Faith. Wisdom
    . will confront the issues of the day with the insights of the Catholic social teaching tradition, human stories and the perspective of the bishops of the United States. You can join the dialogue on Twitter @togoforth.

    "The New Evangelization calls on every baptized person to be a peacemaker."

    - Pope Francis

    Mission & Identity

    The Office of International Justice & Peace is part of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development.

    The Office assists the bishops in advancing the social mission of the Church, especially in its advocacy for policies that advance justice, defend human dignity and protect poor and vulnerable communities around the world.


    IJP: Working on the Margins

    Letter to U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Regarding Pastoral Message of Hope from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of South Sudan
    Bishop Richard E. Pates, October 22, 2014

    Letter to Ambassador Feingold Regarding the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Bishop Richard E. Pates, October 16, 2014

    Central America
    Returning from a solidarity trip to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, Bishop Pates recently wrote to Secretary Kerry to emphasize the need for integral development in the region over militarized assistance. He also raised concerns over trade policy and the extractive mining in those countries.

    Crisis in Gaza and Israel
    Statement Issued by National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East (NILI)
    On the Ceasefire in Gaza and the Need to Renew Negotiations for a Two-State  Peace Agreement, August 14, 2014

    International Assistance
    Letter to Senate on Cargo Preference Regarding U.S. Flagged Ships
    Bishop Richard E. Pates and Dr. Carolyn Woo, May 28, 2014

    Shia religious leaders in Iran and bishops of the USCCB have signed a joint declaration affirming their commitment to peaceful coexistence and condemning the use of indiscriminate weapons.

    In a letter to Congressional leadership, Bishop Pates encourages Congress to pursue the path of engagement and negotiation with Iran in order to reach a resolution to concerns over Iran's nuclear program.
    Crisis in Iraq
    Archbishop Kurtz has written to President Obama: Plight of Religious Minorities in Iraq Requires Increased Support

    Bishop Pates has written National Security Advisor Rice
    to raise the urge concerns of the bishops of Iraq and urge humanitarian assistance for Christians and other religious minorities there.

    In a letter to National Security Advisor Rice, Bishop Pates urges the Administration to exercise leadership by signing and ratifying the Mine Ban Treaty. The Church calls for a ban on landmines, which cause indiscriminate, irreparable and long-term harm.

    Conflict in South Sudan

    The USCCB is following the crisis affecting the people of South Sudan. On February 19, Bishop Pates wrote a letter of solidarity to the Church in Sudan. He also sent a letter to National Security Advisor Rice to encourage U.S. support for civil society, churches and a free press in South Sudan as they work to rebuild there.

    Torture and CIA Interrogation Practices
    In an interview with Vatican Radio, Bishop Oscar Cantú states that intelligence-gathering techniques outlined in the Senate report violate basic moral principals.

    Bishop Pates applauds the U.S. Senators urging declassification of Intelligence Committee information on torture, a serious debasement of human dignity.

    More International Issues

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