Posted on 09. Apr, 2017 by Franciscans For Justice.
Posted on 02. Apr, 2017 by Franciscans For Justice.
An article by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
The United Nations today [October 14] adopted a landmark resolution to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. This historic decision heralds an end to two decades of paralysis in multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts.
At a meeting of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, which deals with disarmament and international security matters, 123 nations voted in favor of the resolution, with 38 against and 16 abstaining.
The resolution will set up a UN conference beginning in March next year, open to all member states, to negotiate a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. The negotiations will continue in June and July.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a civil society coalition active in 100 countries, hailed the adoption of the resolution as a major step forward, marking a fundamental shift in the way that the world tackles this paramount threat.
“For seven decades, the UN has warned of the dangers of nuclear weapons, and people globally have campaigned for their abolition. Today the majority of states finally resolved to outlaw these weapons,” said Beatrice Fihn, executive director of ICAN.
Despite arm-twisting by a number of nuclear-armed states, the resolution was adopted in a landslide. A total of 57 nations were co-sponsors, with Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria and South Africa taking the lead in drafting the resolution.
The UN vote came just hours after the European Parliament adopted its own resolution on this subject – 415 in favour and 124 against, with 74 abstentions – inviting European Union member states to “participate constructively” in next year’s negotiations.
Nuclear weapons remain the only weapons of mass destruction not yet outlawed in a comprehensive and universal manner, despite their well-documented catastrophic humanitarian and environmental impacts.
“A treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons would strengthen the global norm against the use and possession of these weapons, closing major loopholes in the existing international legal regime and spurring long-overdue action on disarmament,” said Fihn.
“Today’s vote demonstrates very clearly that a majority of the world’s nations consider the prohibition of nuclear weapons to be necessary, feasible and urgent. They view it as the most viable option for achieving real progress on disarmament,” she said.
Biological weapons, chemical weapons, anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions are all explicitly prohibited under international law. But only partial prohibitions currently exist for nuclear weapons.
Nuclear disarmament has been high on the UN agenda since the organization’s formation in 1945. Efforts to advance this goal have stalled in recent years, with nuclear-armed nations investing heavily in the modernization of their nuclear forces.
Twenty years have passed since a multilateral nuclear disarmament instrument was last negotiated: the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which has yet to enter into legal force due to the opposition of a handful of nations.
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Posted on 02. Apr, 2017 by Franciscans For Justice.
A woman who had been bleeding for 12 years came up behind Jesus and touched his clothes in hope of a cure. Jesus turned to her and said: “Fear not. Because of your faith, you are now healed.”
Then spoke Pious Paul of Ryan: “But teacher, is that wise? When you cure her, she learns dependency. Then the poor won’t take care of themselves, knowing that you’ll always bail them out! You must teach them personal responsibility!”
They were interrupted by 10 lepers who stood at a distance and shouted, “Jesus, have pity on us.”
“NO!” shouted Pious Paul. “Jesus! You don’t have time. We have a cocktail party fund-raiser in the temple. And don’t worry about them — they’ve already got health care access.”
Read more here
Posted on 19. Mar, 2017 by Franciscans For Justice.
Taken from opb.org –
Roman Zaragoza-Sanchez left his home in Sandy, Oregon, at 6:50 a.m. It was Valentine’s Day.
His job, at the Ekstrom and Schmidt Nursery, was a few minutes’ drive away. His wife, Rosalina, made him a cup of coffee with breakfast to go and packed him a sack lunch. Zaragoza-Sanchez always left early for work.
“He likes to be on time,” Rosalina said in Spanish. “He’s very responsible.”
She hasn’t seen him since that morning.
Roman Zaragoza-Sanchez first came to the United States as a migrant worker in the 1990s. On a trip back to Mexico, he met and married Rosalina. A framed photo on their wall shows them standing in front of a lilac-colored wall: Rosalina in an elaborate wedding dress, Roman wearing a dark suit and looking serious.
Roman and Rosalina are both from the Mixtec indigenous group and were born in Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s a mountainous state, among the poorest in the country. They speak Mixtec at home, and Spanish is their second language. Rosalina never learned to read or write.
In 2001, they paid a coyote — a person who specializes in smuggling immigrants into the country — to help them cross the U.S. border illegally.
“We came here because we didn’t have food,” Rosalina said. “The situation in Mexico was difficult. We heard that if we came here to the United States, there would be work here.”
They moved first to Fresno, California, and then to Oregon. Rosalina gave birth to four sons and one daughter. The children now range in age from 6 to 15 years old. The children were born in the United States, making them U.S. citizens. They attend school in the Oregon Trail School District.
On Feb. 14, Zaragoza-Sanchez was supposed to pick up his oldest son after school. Rosalina (pictured left) was planning to cook a special meal to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Instead, an hour after he left for work, Roman called Rosalina. He said Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers had pulled him over and arrested him just a few blocks from home.
It happened so quickly he left his Honda on the shoulder of Highway 26, with the lights on. Rosalina didn’t have the keys and doesn’t know how to drive. In shock, she asked a neighbor to help her hire a tow truck to retrieve it.
“They are reporting in the news that they are going to get only people who are criminals, but it is not the truth because my husband is not that person,” Rosalina said. “And they took him.”
Zaragoza-Sanchez is now at the Northwest Immigration Detention center in Tacoma, Washington.
Continue reading here
Posted on 11. Mar, 2017 by Franciscans For Justice.
Taken from commonwealmagazine.org –
At a meeting of grassroots activists, faith-based organizers, farm workers, undocumented immigrants, clergy, and several bishops held in Modesto, California, last week, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy gave the most powerful and timely address I’ve ever heard from a Catholic leader.
I will soon write a longer report about the first U.S.-gathering of the World Meeting of Popular Movements, where the bishop gave his speech and nearly 700 people met for panel discussions and small workshops at the three-day event organized by PICO National Network, the U.S. bishops’ Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Vatican’s office for Promoting Integral Human Development.
In the meantime, Bishop McElroy’s address deserves its own careful consideration.
Appointed by Pope Francis to lead the San Diego diocese last spring, McElroy has quickly emerged as one of the most respected intellectual leaders of the Catholic Church in the United States with his incisive essays and speeches on immigration, inequality, the threat of white nationalism, and the church’s obligation to confront Islamophobia. During one session at the Modesto meeting, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, jokingly but accurately called McElroy “the brains” of the U.S. episcopacy. Along with other “Francis bishops” like Cardinal Blase Cupich in Chicago, McElroy is also at the forefront of pushing the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops—in recent years most focused on fighting same-sex marriage and contraception coverage—to demonstrate greater institutional commitment to the breadth of Catholic social teaching and the pope’s priorities as they relate to poverty, inequality, and climate change.
Bishop McElroy took the stage in Modesto after a number of young activists gave impassioned talks that challenged Catholic leaders’ reticence to speak up about the myriad threats the Trump administration poses to immigrants, refugees, government safety nets for the poor, and the environment. The bishop thoroughly and resoundingly answered that challenge. His twenty minute speech can be read as a model for responding to the “signs of the times” through the lens of the Gospel, as the Second Vatican Council insisted, and skillfully summoning the richness of Catholic social teaching to make a compelling argument that was profoundly political but never partisan.
Continue reading here