Forum on Biblical Spirituality on Labor Issues

Ika-20 ng Mayo, 2017 (Sabado)

3rd Floor, Multi Purpose Center, Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro Parish
2042 Calamba cor. Instruccion St., Sampaloc, Manila
8:00am-12:00nn

“Tugon sa patuloy na pakikilakbay sa sektor ng mga manggagawa”

Program:

8:00 am–9:00 am—————Registration

9:00 am–9:10 am—————Prayer/Welcome Remarks

9:10 am-9:15 am—————Church People-Workers Solidarity Orientation

9:15 am-9:20 am ————–Archdiocesan Ministry for Labor Concerns Orientation

9:20 am-10:00 am————–Discussions of D.O. 174/Contractualization
Atty: Louie Velandre: Legal Counsel, RCAM-AMLC

10:00 am-10:30 am———–Reactors (15 mins each)
Worker: Mr. Eldefonso M. Bello                                                      President: Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Harbour Centre

Church: Fr. Jerome Secillano (to be confirmed)

10:30 am–10: 40 am———-BREAK

10:40 am–11:10 am———-Church Social Teaching
Fr. Enrico Martin F. Adoviso
                         Minister: RCAM-Ministry for Labor Concerns

11:00 am–11:30 am———-Open Forum

11:30 am-12:00 am———–Pastoral Challenge:
Fr. Jerome Secillano (to be confirmed)
CBCP Permanent Committee on Public Affairs

Letter of Invitation from
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF MANILA –  ARCHDIOCESAN MINISTRY FOR LABOR CONCERNS
in partnership with
CHURCH PEOPLE-WORKERS SOLIDARITY

May 10, 2017

Dear CWS Convenors,

Isang maalab na pagbati sa buwan ng Paggawa at sa Kapistahan ng ating Mahal na Patron, si San Joseng Manggagawa. Bilang paggunita sa buwan ng Paggawa ang Church People – Workers Solidarity at ang Ministry for Labor Concerns ng Archdiocese of Manila ay nag iimbita sa inyo sa isang Forum: Biblical Spirituality on Labor Issues: “Tugon sa patuloy na pakikilakbay sa sektor ng mga manggagawa”.

Ito ay maganap sa darating na ika-20 ng Mayo 2017, araw ng Sabado, mula ika-8 ng umaga hanggang alas 12:00 nn, 3rd Floor, Multi Purpose Center, Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro Parish, 2042 Calamba corner Instruccion Street, Sampaloc, Manila.

Ang layunin po ng gawaing ito ay higit na maunawaan at madama ng taong-simbahan ang kalagayan ng mga manggagawa, at bilang pakikibahagi sa kanilang pagpupunyagi para sa buhay na may dignidad, ay mabuo ang palagian at mabungang ugnayan ng Simbahan at ng Komunidad ng Manggagawa, kasama ang kanilang sambahayan.   Continue reading

Call for the release of Bishop Carlo Morales and NDFP Consultant Rommel Salinas

President Rodrigo Duterte
President of the Philippines
Manila, Philippine

Dear Mr. President,

Re: Call for the release of  Bishop Carlo Morales and NDFP Consultant Rommel Salinas

The International Coalition on Human Rights in the Philippines – Canada condemns in the strongest terms the arrest and detention of Bishop Carlo Morales and National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultant, Rommel Salinas.

We call on the President to order their immediate release and the withdrawal of the trumped-up charges against them.

Faithful to the tradition of the prophetic ministry of Iglesia Filipina Independiente, Bishop Morales has been a committed advocate for justice and peace. He has been involved in the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP), taking an active role in supporting the peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and in encouraging the people to engage in the process.  We believe that the arrest and detention of Bishop Morales are part of the escalating campaign by state security forces to intimidate and harass progressive organizations and mass leaders, that include the killings of indigenous and peasant leaders. We believe that such campaign of terror is designed to obstruct the peace talks between the GRP and the NDF.

As a strong advocate for the peace talks between the GRP and the NDFP, ICHRP-Canada is gravely concerned that the arrest and detention of NDFP consultant, Rommel Salinas, pose further obstacles to successful negotiations between the two parties. Salinas is the fourth NDFP consultant arrested after the February 3 declaration of all-out war by the AFP.  The Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) previously signed by both parties and remains in force explicitly states that consultants to the peace process should be immune from illegal arrest and detention.

Mr. President, we urge you to continue pursuing the peace talks vigorously for just and lasting peace in the Philippines and to remove all obstacles to its success.

We urge you to release Bishop Carlo Morales and NDFP consultant, Rommel Salinas and to order an immediate end to the systematic campaign of intimidation and harassment against NDFP consultants and leaders of progressive organizations.

We call on your Government and members of the security forces to honor the GRP’s commitments under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) which were reaffirmed in the first round of formal Peace Talks in Oslo last August 2016.

We trust in your commitment to peace with justice and look forward to your action on these matters.

Sincerely,
International Coalition on Human Rights in the Philippines – Canada

The Ever Worsening Consequences of Climate Change

NASA photo

And What We Should Do If We Truly Care About Humanity and the Environment

 

By increasing our burning of fossil fuels and destruction of forests, we, primarily the industrialized nations, are causing the global mean temperature of Earth to rise year after year, producing Category 5 hurricanes, extreme tornadoes, dying coral reefs, acidic oceans, death of the marine food chain, famine, drought, mass migrations, wars, diseases, wildfires, the drying up of rivers, the melting of glaciers and ice caps, rising oceans and floods. Without a major change of course by humanity, these conditions will move inexorably toward extreme states. How close they will come to those extreme states depends on how effectively those who care about Climate Change work to curtail it.

The great majority of the population of the developed nations stand by and observe, unwilling to take effective actions to avert the consequences of Climate Change, largely because they themselves are not suffering. That millions of their brothers and sisters across the globe are suffering and dying prematurely, along with nature, seems to matter little or not at all to them. Their guide is: What’s good for me here and now?

At the end of their lives, unless they change their ways, they will be compelled to admit:

“I was aware that my fellow humans were suffering and dying in great numbers from heat-caused drought, famine and disease, but neither I nor my immediate family were suffering, so I did nothing. I was aware that the oceans were rising and wiping out cities on the coastal areas of the world,   Continue reading

Updates on the Peace Talks on Wednesday Forum

Dear Colleagues in the Continuing Struggle for Truth, Justice and Enduring Peace,

This is rather late but if we forward this to as many people as we possibly can, then they might decide to come and join us at the Wednesday Forum on May 17, 2017 from 1-4pm at UCCP Cosmopolitan Church, Taft Avenue, corner Apacible St. facing the UP PGH.

The topics are Updates on the Peace Talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and on the Labor Situation in the country. Featured Speaker is Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III of the Department of Labor. Secretary Bello is also Chair of the GRP Peace Panel in the Negotiations with the NDFP.

The Biblico-Theological Reflection (BTR) will be given by Bishop Nathanael Lazaro of the Iglesia Evangelica Metodista en las Islas Filipinas (IEMELIF).

Registration is free. Space is adequate and the Forum is open to all church people and others to join. Please, kindly pass this message on to your friends and your colleagues. Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

Pastor Alvaro “Al” O. Senturias, Jr.
Executive Director
The Wednesday Forum (twf)

SaLakYag Kalikasan 2017

Sama-samang sakay, lakad, at layag para sa kalikasan

Download invitation to Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas Chair Bishop Broderick Pabillo

A nationally synchronized anti-mining action was conceptualized in 2015 and affirmed during the PMPI SOS Conference in Baguio City last January 26-28, 2017. The national activity hopes to integrate a planned anti-mining toxic tour in Mindanao and fluvial parade in Manicani and Homonhon and include other mining affected communities in Luzon. Originally, the main objective of the activity is to highlight mining-related issues and echo the call to establish small island ecosystems as no-go-zones for mining. The participants in the conference agreed that brin¬ging together mining affected communities from different parts of the country will

1) serve as a platform to raise national consciousness on mining issues which remain undiscussed in urban areas and more confined in mining affected or host communities;

2) bring the issue to the attention of the Executive and Legislative branch of government and create more favorable environment to support the current drift of DENR against so called destructive and “irresponsible” mining;

3) support the current moves of DENR to suspend and close erring mining companies and cancel their Mineral Production Sharing Agreements and deter moves of mining companies to overturn the DENR’s decision favoring mining affected communities.

The World Environment Day which is June 5 and with this year’s theme: “Connecting People to Nature – in the city and on the land, from the poles to the equator”, this concept will once and for all connect all communities across the country to the actual state of the environment. In addition, this also serves as a response to the call of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ “On Care for our Common Home” wherein he called all people around the world to take a “swift and unified global action” against environmental degradation and global warming.

The activity hopes to bring together mining-affected communities and other communities affected by severe environmental degradation and climate change in a unified voice to raise public awareness on their struggles against mining and development aggression. The national event aims also to achieve the following:

  1. Raise the level of national consciousness on the negative impacts of mining in affected communities;
  2. Highlight human rights violations committed in mining communities;
  3. Lobby for relevant policy reforms in the mining industry including declaring small island ecosystems and watersheds as no-go-zones for mining.

SALAKYAG KALIKASAN 2017 or “Sama-samang sakay, lakad, at layag para sa kalikasan” is a nationwide caravan which will commence in Zamboanga City on May 30, 2017 and will culminate in Metro Manila on June 5, 2017. A core group of travelers will start journey from Zamboanga City towards identified rally or salubong points until it reaches Metro Manila. The Core group is targeted to reach an average of 100 participants aboard 20 vehicles. Identified stop overs where Salubong Programs will be held; where local groups will be mobilized; and where the group will sleep-over include Dipolog City, Cagayan de Oro City, Surigao City, Palo (Leyte), Legazpi City, and Lucena City.

Download Salakyag Kalikasan_Activity Guide

Lakbay Buhay Updates

Pirmahan Ang Petisyon #Lakbaybuhay

Sa aming mga halal na mga Senador lalo na sina Senador Poe, Binay, Gordon, Zubiri, Honasan, Villar, Recto, Pimentel, Angara, Legarda, at Villanueva,

Kami ang mga mamamayang naniniwala na ang parusang bitay ay hindi makatao, illegal, hindi epektibo, at kontra mahirap. Hinihikayat po namin kayong huwag ipasa sa Senado ang anumang panukalang batas na muling magpapataw ng bitay sa ating bansa.

Hindi makatao ang parusang bitay. Mahalaga ang buhay at sinumang nagkasala sa batas ay dapat parusahan nguni’t mahalagang mabigyan pa rin ng pagkakataong magbagong buhay. Habang paparami at umabot na sa 141 bansa o dalawa sa tatlong bansa sa daigdig ang itinatakwil ang parusang bitay, hindi dapat papa-urong ang Pilipinas at muling ipapataw ito.

Ilegal ang parusang bitay. Lalabag ang bansa sa Second Optional Protocol ng International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, isang pandaigdigang kasunduan ukol sa parusang bitay na pinirmahan nito noong Nobiyembre 2007. Mawawalan ng kredibilidad ang bansa sa mata ng pandaigdigang pamayanan ng mga bansa kapag muli nitong ipinataw ang parusang bitay.

Hindi epektibo ang parusang bitay. Wala anumang pag-aaral na nagbibigay ebidensiya na napipigilan ng parusang bitay ang krimen. Bagkus kabaligtaran ang nangyari sa Pilipinas noong panahon ng administrasyon ni Ramos. Tumaas ng 15.3 porsiyento (82,538 mula 71,527) ang krimen sa bansa isang taon mula noong muling ipataw ang parusang bitay noong 2003.

Kontra-mahirap ang parusang bitay. Hindi Diyos ang mga huwes na hindi nagkakamali at hindi perpekto ang ating sistema ng paggagawad ng katarungan. Bagkus sa ating bansa, sa kakapusang makakuha ng magagaling na abugado at may nabibiling mga Huwes, mahihirap ang karamihang napaparusahan ng bitay, at ang iba sa kanila ay pinapaniwalaang inosente. Mahihirap lahat ang pitong binitay mula nang bitayin si Leo Echegaray noong 1999 at tinatantiyang isa sa pito ay inosente. Sa paglabag sa kasunduan, mapipilitan ang European Union na muling ipataw din ang buwis sa 6,000 produktong galling sa Pilipinas. Magbubunsod ito ng pagkalugi ng bansa ng tinatantiyang 12.8 bilyong dolyar sa kalakalan taun-taon at pagkawala ng 200,000 trabaho o pagbaba ng kita ng mga magsasaka, mangingisda at manggagawang nagluluwas ng kalakal tulad ng saging at tuna patungong European Union.  Continue reading

Hungry Children Behind Bars

Change from the Inside photo

Shay Cullen
11 May 2107

If ever you were in Metro Manila and went to visit a Bahay Pag-asa, that is a “House of Hope” where children as young as seven to 15 are incarcerated behind bars and mixed with youth up to 17 years of age, you will see that the majority of 12 year-old children look like eight years old. This is because one in every three Filipino children go hungry and are malnourished. They are stunted in growth due to lack of nourishing protein and vitamin-complete food. There are 3.4 million Filipino children that are stunted. Take the case of Jeremy. He was rescued from a Metro Manila jail and we thought he was eight years old but in fact he was about 12 years of age.

A study in 2015 discovered that 20 percent of kids under 5 years old die due to poor health services and as many as 300,000 children under five years old are found to be underweight for their age. The Philippines is ninth place in nations that have high incidents of stunted children. The rate of chronic malnutrition and stunting among Filipino children is 33.4 percent. Poor children on the street, living in the slums and in poor rural villages, suffer the most.

If this continues and poverty remains unchanged, the Philippines will have a huge percentage of children that are stunted, malnourished and mentally challenged, unable to study and learn.

The children in the jails suffer the most from hunger and neglect. Because that is what these places are- kids behind steel bars of cells. Local governments manage the jails for children and the officials think they are criminals. They are hungrier than most, hungry for food, for freedom, for respect, dignity and recognition that they are human and need to be cared for. They need to be in school and not forced to sleep on a concrete floor and be locked up all day and night and be abused and bullied. They have no exercise, sunlight, stimulation, and entertainment, reading, games or anything to occupy them.

Imagine your life in a small cell for months with twenty others bored and going slowly insane. These children can be mentally and emotionally damaged. They are innocent going in but will be of a criminal mind coming out and will grow up angry at society and without a basic education, they have no chance for a better life than on the streets as scavengers and beggars. They are told they are criminals by being locked in cells.

They need their parents but the parents do not always know they are jailed. Many more as young as nine years old will be locked up if the Philippine Congress and Senate pass a bill that reduces the minimum age of criminality liability to nine years old. That’s how the adult world of leaders see innocent children- as criminals at nine years old. In fact, many a criminal sits in Congress dressed in fancy clothes and living a life of extreme luxury, corrupt and uncaring. Sixteen million people said they go hungry in this wealthy nation where they say 140 families rule the 103 million Filipinos.

The good congress people are overwhelmed and cannot change anything. When one good senator Risa Hontiveros from the Akbayan Party was reading a column written by this writer about the children in jails, she was stopped by Senator Richard Gordon who did not want the senators to hear the truth about the condition of the children in jail. He silenced and blocked the good senator from speaking. Her right to free speech violated. Senator Gordon has been named in a criminal case of crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court together with the President for the 8000 killings so far in the war on drugs. So many Catholics support the killings. We ask if are they Christians, followers of Jesus of Nazareth? Some churches in Pampanga are hanging banners calling for a stop to the killing and the death penalty.

The authorities love to blame innocent children for the crimes of the adults. No evidence needed. The police are frequently involved in crimes themselves so they blame and arrest children. They claim they have solved the crime and get a promotion perhaps.

Every parish in the country and especially in Metro Manila ought to have a mission to their local Bahay Pag-asa or House of Hope. He made it one of the conditions by which we will be judged on the last day of our lives. (Matthew 25: 31-46) Enter the Kingdom, he said, for “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

We need to find Jesus not only in Churches but in action for justice and compassion. If not, our spirit dies forever. Let’s act to release the children from the jails of hopelessness and give them a new life.

ATM Statement on social justice and environmental protection

DOF Sec. Dominguez should realize enforcing the spirit of the law is necessary for the common good 

Sec. Dominguez stated yesterday that the mining industry requires good governance and transparency to ensure that it contributes to development. We agree. That is why closing and suspending those mines that violated the Mining Act (RA 7942) and other environmental laws was necessary.  Our alliance sincerely believes that the results of the Mining Audit were credible.

Our understanding is that the decision to close and suspend the mines relied on a whole set of references and evidences – the mining audit, the report of the Technical Review Committee, the local reports of NGOs and LGUs submitted as addendum to the mining audit, news and media coverages, documents from legal cases in various courts and quasi-judicial bodies, LGU resolutions and ordinances against mining projects, aerial surveys of mining areas, and ground interaction by DENR officials in the mining-affected communities.  From our own database, there is overwhelming documentation and evidences that prove the closures and suspensions are with merit.  We again offer these documents to new DENR Sec. Cimatu, DOF Sec. Dominguez and the MICC for their own perusal.

Sec. Dominguez wrongly maintains a narrow viewpoint when he insists that the DENR Mining Audit report was the sole basis for the closures and suspensions.

Our alliance argues that former DENR Sec. Lopez was actually enforcing environmental laws and policies when she decided to close these mines.  The results of the audit and the subsequent technical review showed that standards were not met and laws were violated, so it should come no surprise that violators will be penalized.  What may have stunned Sec. Dominguez was the commitment and political will of Lopez to impose the penalties and prioritize the welfare of the rural poor rather than pander to the interest of miners and their political backers.

When Sec. Dominguez invoked yesterday that good governance and transparency are needed to support the mining industry, he forgot a third critical element – accountability.

The mine audits had legal basis, the DENR followed due process, and social justice was served when the closures and suspension orders were issued. This is how we should hold the mining industry and the government accountable.

In a Senate hearing last Feb. 8, 2017 chaired by Sen. Joel Villanueva, CoMP Executive Vice-President Nelia Halcon admitted that there are only 19,000 workers that are directly employed by large-scale mining companies.  This is less than 1/3 of the figures the CoMP has been brandishing, and only 0.015% of the alleged 1.2 million families that will be impacted by the closures and suspensions.  This is not the first time that CoMP has been disseminating half-truths and biased data. To date, none of these mine workers were displaced because the closed/suspended mines filed their appeal and so since February 2017, the mines have been operating “business-as-usual”.

Let us not forget, not even Sec. Dominguez has refuted the available economic data – mining contributes a measly 0.7% of GDP and only employs a total of 235,000 or 0.4 employment rate.  Comparing this to tourism or agriculture, these are insignificant economic indicators. And so when Sec. Dominguez speaks of “good governance…to attract investments in extractive industries, confident that we will be able to assure sustainable forestry and mining”, he should remember well these figures.

We welcome the statement of Sec. Dominguez that “poor governance caused us to lose our forests without emancipating our people” which “should never happen again”. As co-chair of the MICC, Sec. Dominguez must ensure that the results of the mine audits and all other evidences available at the DENR and from CSOs, are reviewed so that the complete picture of the violations and non-compliance of the mining industry is recognized.

Our alliance rejects the accusation of Sec. Dominguez that the DENR Mining Audit was tainted and its results biased.  We reject the proposition that mining is only a technical matter, and only technical experts should be allowed to conduct the mining audit.  This prejudice is precisely the main reason why mining is confronting resistance at the local and national levels.  Mining will permanently change the physical and ecological landscape of an area. The same mining tenement has a river, a forest, or in a fragile island-ecosystem.  The same mine facilities are impacting the coastal areas for fishers and the irrigation for farmers.  The same mine project is within ancestral domains, and therefore require free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from indigenous communities.  The same mining project introduces environmental, social and political impacts.

To reduce the mining audit to a “technical exercise” and the mining industry as an “economic driver” sans the social and environmental safeguards, defeats the purpose of establishing what is a “responsible mine”.  This reveals the hollowed and minimal understanding of the mining industry and Sec. Dominguez on how to implement “responsible mining”.  This is not the path to social justice.

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the 51st World Communications Day

Pauline Store photo

Fear not, for I am with you» (Is 43:5): Communicating Hope and Trust in our Time

 

Access to the media – thanks to technological progress – makes it possible for countless people to share news instantly and spread it widely. That news may be good or bad, true or false. The early Christians compared the human mind to a constantly grinding millstone; it is up to the miller to determine what it will grind: good wheat or worthless weeds. Our minds are always “grinding”, but it is up to us to choose what to feed them (cf. SAINT JOHN CASSIAN, Epistle to Leontius).

I wish to address this message to all those who, whether in their professional work or personal relationships, are like that mill, daily “grinding out” information with the aim of providing rich fare for those with whom they communicate. I would like to encourage everyone to engage in constructive forms of communication that reject prejudice towards others and foster a culture of encounter, helping all of us to view the world around us with realism and trust.

I am convinced that we have to break the vicious circle of anxiety and stem the spiral of fear resulting from a constant focus on “bad news” (wars, terrorism, scandals and all sorts of human failure). This has nothing to do with spreading misinformation that would ignore the tragedy of human suffering, nor is it about a naive optimism blind to the scandal of evil. Rather, I propose that all of us work at overcoming that feeling of growing discontent and resignation that can at times generate apathy, fear or the idea that evil has no limits. Moreover, in a communications industry which thinks that good news does not sell, and where the tragedy of human suffering and the mystery of evil easily turn into entertainment, there is always the temptation that our consciences can be dulled or slip into pessimism.

I would like, then, to contribute to the search for an open and creative style of communication that never seeks to glamourize evil but instead to concentrate on solutions and to inspire a positive and responsible approach on the part of its recipients. I ask everyone to offer the people of our time storylines that are at heart “good news”.

Good news

Life is not simply a bare succession of events, but a history, a story waiting to be told through the choice of an interpretative lens that can select and gather the most relevant data. In and of itself, reality has no one clear meaning. Everything depends on the way we look at things, on the lens we use to view them. If we change that lens, reality itself appears different. So how can we begin to “read” reality through the right lens?

For us Christians, that lens can only be the good news, beginning with the Good News par excellence: “the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God” (Mk 1:1). With these words, Saint Mark opens his Gospel not by relating “good news” about Jesus, but rather the good news that is Jesus himself. Indeed, reading the pages of his Gospel, we learn that its title corresponds to its content and, above all else, this content is the very person of Jesus.

This good news – Jesus himself – is not good because it has nothing to do with suffering, but rather because suffering itself becomes part of a bigger picture. It is seen as an integral part of Jesus’ love for the Father and for all mankind. In Christ, God has shown his solidarity with every human situation. He has told us that we are not alone, for we have a Father who is constantly mindful of his children. “Fear not, for I am with you” (Is 43:5): these are the comforting words of a God who is immersed in the history of his people. In his beloved Son, this divine promise – “I am with you” – embraces all our weakness, even to dying our death. In Christ, even darkness and death become a point of encounter with Light and Life. Hope is born, a hope accessible to everyone, at the very crossroads where life meets the bitterness of failure. That hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5) and makes new life blossom, like a shoot that springs up from the fallen seed. Seen in this light, every new tragedy that occurs in the world’s history can also become a setting for good news, inasmuch as love can find a way to draw near and to raise up sympathetic hearts, resolute faces and hands ready to build anew.

Confidence in the seed of the Kingdom

To introduce his disciples and the crowds to this Gospel mindset and to give them the right “lens” needed to see and embrace the love that dies and rises, Jesus uses parables. He frequently compares the Kingdom of God to a seed that releases its potential for life precisely when it falls to the earth and dies (cf. Mk 4:1-34).   Continue reading

Call for Action on Climate Change

While humankind is threatened by climate change, no adequate action is being taken. The scientific communities agrees that life will suffer irreversible changes if temperatures increase of +2°C above pre-industrial period’s temperature. Yet, we are already at +1.6°C and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change will lead us to at least +3°C seen the present level of countries’ engagements. And even the Paris Agreement is now at great risk due the counter attack of the fossil interest, with the US as the most significant example.

Few governments have taken concrete action and Climate Change is absent in the political debate. Yet 73% of Americans, and 83% of Europeans, consider climate a high priority, as do citizens in other continents. Even dramatic events are ignored by political institutions. Australia has lost one third of its unique Great Barrier Reef. The millennial ice at the poles is shrinking faster than expected and melting permafrost is releasing millions of cubic meters of methane, a climate disruptor much more powerful than the CO2 emissions, the only subject of the Paris Agreement.

The impacts of Climate Change are evident in every corner of the planet, with already 40 millions of climate refugees. Yet, the deference to fossils’ interests is conditioning political institutions to an irresponsible lack of action or to a direct boycotting of the commitments taken in Paris.

The most glaring example is President Trump’s action against Climate Change control.  President Trump has been elected by a minority of Americans, yet his actions go well beyond American frontiers, affecting all of us.

It is urgent to recognize that we are in an unprecedented emergency and to form new and global alliances in favor of humanity and common destiny to stop this saga of greed and irresponsibility. Greed and fear cannot become the deciding elements of the political progress.

We invite you to sign this call for action and to hear the voices of the scientific community with  their extreme concern for the growing risk for us and for future generations.

We include the last of call of scientists  and denounce that those in power are ignoring more and more the voices of their citizens. To arrest Climate Change is also a question of democracy and social justice. Let’s fight for our dignity and our right to a livable world!