Church Leaders Gather in Brazil for UN Conference
Offer Vision of Care for Poor to Sustainable Development Discussion
| 693 hits
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, JUNE 20, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, along with several church figures and Catholic organizations are in Rio de Janeiro to attend the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, under way through Friday.
The purpose of the conference is to renew the commitment of foreign nations to sustainable development for the world’s poorest countries. The Rio+20 conference also set out to measure the progress in the implementation of the decisions adopted by the governments attending and to address new and emerging topics.
In an interview with Web TV Redentor, the permanent observer stated that his mission was to highlight the human person and the socio-ecological problems of the poorest countries.
“The Church is very important in the development of these three aspects: In regard to the economic aspects, we know that the Catholic Church is always concerned about the poor countries, for example. When we speak of the social, we know that the Church is totally involved in the growth of the social situation in the world. In regard to the third aspect, the ecological, pointed out, here in Brazil, is the concern for the protection of Amazonia. We take care of nature because we Catholics believe in preservation,” he said.
Also present at the conference is the Cooperation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE), an organization comprised of several Catholic charities around the world that set out to care for the poor and the oppressed on a global level.
In a statement released by CIDSE and signed by several Church leaders and heads of Catholic charities around the world, representatives of the organization called on governments present at the conference to focus on the needs of the poor.
“We expect world leaders to embrace their responsibility and to be held accountable for their commitments,” the statement read. “Today we call on world leaders and all people of good will to realize that we have an opportunity to walk a path together, a path towards rights-based and equitable development, towards a truly human life, towards a world where we accept that we are part of creation which has been given in custody to us.”
The Irish Bishops Conference also released a statement emphasizing the need for world governments to analyze further the current understanding of economic growth. They also expressed their hope that a new economic model would address the “growing problems of inequality and resulting injustice and instability, founded on respect for the dignity of every human person, in right relations with one another and with the natural environment.”