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From freedom to security
The leading value put forward by politicians today is not freedom but rather security. The world, value systems, society, health, culture – all of these are portrayed as vulnerable and open to attack, and are therefore perceived as such.
This reality is concocted by the media, which have their agendas of economic and political interests, fuelled by daily rations of shock, horror, fear and vulnerability.
Yet “freedom”, not “security”, is the message that the major religions of the world are putting forward, namely their vision of “what is still possible”. This is the message that religious representatives should be proclaiming, whether or not the timing is right.
Understanding fear: moral panic
CAN –Community Action Network is a network of former Catholic Student Movement members, founded in 1993, who continue to meet as a community to live out their faith in action through engaging on human rights awareness in parishes. Since its inception, CAN has collaborated with churches and non-governmental organizations to organize activities to promote and advocate justice and peace in society.
Preparations for Elections, GE 13 – What’s at Stake?
The North America region of ICMCIA/MIIC is pleased to present this brief report for the Assembly. We look forward to taking the next steps to renew this region in the coming years. We hope that this Assembly will help to guide some of our questions as we move forward (see challenges).
A. Mobilizing Communities of Young Professionals
Over the past four years, we have prioritized outreach to young professionals. Our focus has been on engaging both young professionals and young lay theologians (see list of events). As a movement, we have organized or co-sponsored several events related to this effort. Kevin Ahern has visited existing communities in, Boston and Washington and has tried to establish or connect with new communities in New York, Toronto, Denver, and other cities. He has also worked on the board of several national organizations dealing with this question. These include: the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, America Media (Jesuits), Daily Theology, and the Church in the 21st Century Center of Boston College. In 2015, Kevin was asked to lead a session on young professionals in the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’s conference on the 50th Anniversary of Guadium et Spes.
This draft strategic plan includes:
- long term guidelines
- plan of action for the year 2017.
These documents will be discussed during the statutory session in Barcelona.
We shall arrive in Barcelona, as members of Pax Romana with our histories, cultural backgrounds and hopes for the future. First we want to take time to be together, which is not possible in the ordinary life, to share what is important for us as brothers and sisters, and also what is less important.
But it is a time for discernment. We shall take time to see our movement, how it is dealing with the challenges of the world in different countries, time to reflect on this situation, time to organize our action in the future.
All this is sustained by two ideas:
- a common thread : to move from indifference to mercy, which is not only a thematic issue but a change of attitude in Pax Romana life,
- the openness to the Holy Spirit, with times for meditation, praying together and celebrating as a Christian community.
Letter from world religious leaders appealing to maintain the agreements and the peace-building progress in Colombia.
We, religious leaders from around the world, have been able to engage with communities and in particular with the victims of the armed conflict in Colombia for many years now. In the almost six years of the public and private dialogues between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP guerilla we have continuously been able to follow-up (with you, Mr. President, as well as with the guerrillas) in the critically difficult moments, but that always turned out well, supporting the process until the final agreement was reached.
The decision taken by a majority of British voters just two days ago once more shows us the complex and difficult situation of Europe’s state at the moment and the importance of developing a path into the future. The successive crises in the last years, beginning with the breakdown of the financial markets, the near-down crash of finances in EU-memberstates, the illegal occupation of Crimea and the astoundingly increased number of refugees during the last months have not only put to test the European Integration Process, but also led to rising resentments between EU-memberstates as well as between groups within these member-states as well. A first rough analysis of the outcome of the British referendum shows us a division between generations, between the inhabitants of cities and of the countryside, between a « well-to-do » elite, able to find their way in a globalized and interconnected world and all those, who feel abandoned, left behind and who fear a loss of what they have gained or built up the past decennia.
In Vienna the following NGO Committees are operating:
NGO Committee on
- Status of Women (CSW)
- Sustainable Development
- The Family
- Narcotic Drugs
NGO Alliance for Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
Until recently, Pax Romana delegates were active in all the committees mentioned above, except the one on Ageing. - At present we are participating intensively in the Committee Status of Women (Annemarie Weinzettl) and Peace (Helga Kerschbaum). For the other committees we are looking for persons to replace some momentary vacant – respectively provisionally occupied – committees and hope to start with full engagements in January 2017.
This text is a review of 4 years council experiences. It is intended to support the debates of the upcoming PA2016 about the future activities of Pax Romana Icmica.
Mercy was just another word for me in the dictionary, i grew up getting familiar with this word especially in the catholic church. I never found the context of mercy empowering, as I found the usage of this word in stories, where one had to fall on their knees and ask the lord for forgiveness, shouting "have mercy on me lord, have mercy" something i often heard at Good Friday services. When the door of mercy was opened by Pope in Rome, i was wondering if walking through this door will save my soul. To acknowledge, i have not yet entered these local holy doors in Mumbai. However, the opening of the doors while led to the altar, i determined to open the door the other side that led to the people of this world. Since i trust the pope of my generation, i took on to live this year of mercy as guided by his holiness. I was fortunate to have been invited by Fr. Leon Cruz sdb, the missionary of mercy from India to join him in this work. And so my journey in understanding this grace of mercy began. One of the opportunity was to update my reflections on Facebook Page, ' 'Face of Mercy'. This kept me alert all the time to see where can i find this face of mercy. And guidance by Fr. Leon helped me grow in faith.
It’s a general statement that our society is based on a production and exchange mechanism whose operation escapes the citizens as it does escape in part to the States. The Council of Europe is then a crucial regulator of the consequences suffered directly by the population and, therefore, its Conference of INGOs committed to safeguarding all human rights and especially to fighting against poverty.
Dear members of Pax Romana Europe,
Please find attached a letter from Anna Rurka, President of the Conference of INGOs inviting us to give our contribution to the call to action to support the Turin process (European social charter). Kindly confirm your interest in this process and send me your replies by 4 December 2016 at the latest (limit date was 4th of September but we can still participate).
You will find in the letter the links to :
With kind regards,
The Lithuanian Catholic Academy of Science is the local centre for Catholic intellectual life. It was founded in 1922, moved to operate abroad at the time of the Soviet occupation (1940-1990), and after the restoration of independence it returned to Lithuania in 1990. The Academy include scientists and scholars of various fields who discuss important issues of the life in the society and the Church, carry out research projects, publish books, have established a centre for the studies of the history of Christianity, organise seminars, public lectures, intellectual debates.
Building Communities for Social and Personal Change
Pope Francis meets a group of immigrants at the pier in Lampedusa, Italy. Since his election, Pope Francis has called attention to an unprecedented global crisis. Never before have people and planet been so threatened by human sinfulness. Consider, for example, the massive global humanitarian crisis marked by refugee flows in nearly every region of the world. Or the ecological and human destruction resulting from our excessive consumption patterns. At the national level in many countries, including the United States, we are seeing a crisis in democracy and a rise in xenophobia, isolationism and nationalism.
"If you want peace, irt only works with non violence, because violence creates violence again." This 8 minutes video about the work of members of the NGO-committee-on-peace Vienna was produced by its chairman Dr. Klaus Renolder in cooperation with the UN Organization for disarmament and nonproliferation, UNODA Vienna, (United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs) with active participation of six NGOs, among them PAX ROMANA. It was shown at the UNODA Vienna Forum July 2016 "Women Higher Education for Peace".
For the video, click on the image.
Mercy, Compassion, Love sounds very comfortable. As a human being everyone wants to experience these verbs. As the theme of this Year, it becomes more verbal in our daily life. While living stroll around the streets. I am curious to know whether it is the real world or the world of the fake? I saw a great shift in Humanity. Humanity being praised and being insulted. Why humanity is suffering? Humanity is dragging on the roads and humanity is being honour among the rich. The pair of shoes has more dignity and leisure’s of life as it is been displayed nicely in the shopping mall and on the other hand the child of the poor is sleeping on the road enjoying the melody traffic and taps by sun on the road.
The historic vote this week by a slim majority of the British people to leave the European Union –the so-called “Brexit” – signals a major political and economic challenge. But the Brexit also has a significant moral significance that goes beyond the UK. How we as nations understand borders, sovereignty, and other peoples speaks volumes to our deeper commitments to peace, solidarity, human rights, and the common good. Indeed, the decision to leave the European Union and the accompanying campaign vitriol against “others” signals a threat to one of the most important legacies of 20th Century Social Catholicism.
How many times, during these first months of the Jubilee, have we heard about the works of mercy! Today the Lord invites us to make a serious examination of conscience. Indeed, it is good to never forget that mercy is not an abstract word, but it is a way of life: a person can either be merciful or unmerciful; it is a lifestyle. I choose to live in a way that is merciful or I choose to live in a way that is unmerciful. It is one thing to speak of mercy, and it is another to live mercy. Paraphrasing the words of St James the Apostle (cf. 2:14-17), we could say: mercy without works is dead within itself. That’s it! What makes mercy come alive is its constant dynamism in order to go and meet those in need and the necessities of those in spiritual and material hardship. Mercy has eyes to see, ears to hear, hands to lift up again....
This material is intended to gather the thoughts of our communities on the topic of the plenary Assembly of Barcelona 2016, called "Indifference to the Mercy: What’s our commitment?"
This document is a summary of the Papal audience, and it is mentioned centrally the "mercy" and the Pope interpellate us many times to get closer to a practical concept and non-theoretical about Mercy. Therefore, we have selected it to be analyzed in the local communities of our federations in the entire world. It will be available during the meeting in Barcelona.