***ACTION OF THE WEEK***
To mark World Fisheries Day, please join Stella Maris (formerly known as Apostleship of the Sea) for an online panel discussion on Tuesday 23rd November from 7.30pm to 9pm GMT to take a look at the darker side of the maritime world: modern slavery aboard some fishing vessels, and at what is being done about it.
Our expert panel includes Stella Maris chaplains in the UK and abroad, Mark Cam – Lead Investigator from the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Jessica Sparks – Assistant Professor of Antislavery Ecosystems. They will explore this issue further and explain how fishers can find themselves trapped in this horrific situation, and what we at Stella Maris and others do to rescue and protect those in danger.
To attend, please register now at: www.StellaMaris.org.uk/ModernSlavery
As an aside to the Action above, there is an interesting, but worrying article through ICN about the plight of 16 crew members left abandoned on a fishing vessel in Mombasa, Kenya, since March this year. The hungry and desperate seafarers on board had run out of food, except for some old vegetables, after the vessel owners stopped providing them with supplies last week.
The crew also say that they are owed wages for the last eight months and are increasingly worried about their families back home who are struggling to survive because of the loss of income. Stella Maris have stepped in to provide emergency relief for them.
An example of modern slavery as it is happening...
NEWS AND COMMENT
1. COP26 (includes Actions and Events)
Ellen Teague's Daily Blog through Independent Catholic News
Throughout COP26, Ellen has written an excellent Blog through ICN finishing with yesterday's 15th edition.
In this last one, there is a lovely story about a Syrian Refugee Family that she met; plus a quote from Seve Paeniu, the Finance and Climate Minister from Tuvalu as saying "Glasgow ends today, but the real work begins now." Wise words indeed.
Other news/stories around COP26
There are also plenty of other news stories around COP26 through ICN, including an article about CAFOD's response based on words by Neil Thorns, CAFOD's Director of Advocacy.
CAFOD also have their COP26 wrap up, including a short video here.
Such a shame that after all the hype, and thousands taking to the streets last weekend, that it has really ended in disappointment. A week ago, people were out in force to support CAFOD and other organisations. This article through The Catholic Weekly gives some quotes from people attending the gatherings last weekend.
Representing the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, Bishop John Arnold (Environment) and Bishop Declan Lang (International Affairs) have issued a joint statement stressing the importance of the UN summit, plus reminding us that it is the world's poorest people that suffer the most from climate change. You can read their statement here.
More than 60 Catholic organisations have signed a Statement on COP26 Draft Agreement by Laudato Si' Movement. You can read it, and see who has signed it, through ICN.
Also, Pope Francis has launched The Laudato Si’ Action Platform to inspire and encourage the global Catholic Church to reflect on their part in the care of God’s creation and love of neighbour, over a 7 year journey. The Laudato Si’ Action Platform website has lots more information.
COP26: Why the fig is food waste not on the agenda?
This article, from Oddbox, was written at the start of COP, but it is interesting, so it was worth a mention. I particularly like David Attenborough's quote at the end of the piece.
Oddbox was borne out of their founders finding out that 40% of all produce in the UK is wasted before it leaves farms. Why? Because it doesn’t look “right” or because too much was grown - despite being fresh, beautiful, and totally tasty.
They now sell produce that would ordinarily be thrown away, to ordinary people via a delivery system. Thanks to Oddbox for allowing us to link into their article.
Fairtrade Foundation: Be fair with your climate promises (includes an Action)
This is a lovely video, where people are asking questions of three Fairtrade farmers, from Malawi, Ghana and India. They are all really pleased to be at COP, and trusting that the world leaders will put into action their promises - and to hear them say that they felt the future was bright was heartwarming.
You can watch the video through YouTube, and sign Fairtrade Foundation's petition for climate justice here.
There are lots of events happening post-COP, which are listed here in their own section, rather than with the other Events further into this e-bulletin.
Monday 15th November - 3pm - Green Christian
Space to Think
Tuesday 16th November - 3pm Rome time (2pm UK time presumably?) - Laudato Si'
What happened at COP26?
Wednesday 17th November - 7pm - CAFOD
What did COP Achieve?
Wednesday 1st December - 7pm - 8.15pm - Green Christian
Post-COP Outcomes and What Next?
2. Other Climate/Environment News (includes an Action)
Raw Sewage in our Waterways
38 degrees report that 'last year, water companies dumped raw sewage - including human waste and wet wipes - into our waters more than 400,000 times, for more than three million hours. They say they do this to prevent flooding when it rains. But even in dry weather, sewage discharges have become a daily occurrence; some companies have even done it illegally.'
They have got up a petition to the CEO's of the various water companies, asking them to stop dumping raw sewage into our waters. Please sign it here.
Catholic Bishops in Zimbabwe launch agricultural value chain to foster self-sustainability
ACI Africa reports on this ambitious project by the Catholic Bishops in Zimbabwe which will 'involve operations from farms through factories to families in the communities around us, which include both Catholic and non-Catholics.' Their statement also said "It is both a commercial enterprise and a tool to develop, transform and build our communities. It is the Church's torch to shine a light in dark places and shine a light in these dark times."
You can read the full details here.
Net-Zero and the Catholic Church: ‘Guardians of Creation’ project releases guidance.
(thanks to Edward De Quay for sending in this article)
Guidance has been released for the Catholic Church in England and Wales on carbon accounting. “Guidance on Catholic Diocesan Carbon Accounting” is the second paper from ‘Guardians of Creation,’ a project from Salford Diocese with St Mary’s University and the Laudato Si’ Research Institute.
The guidance discusses setting a carbon footprint baseline, monitoring, and setting net-zero targets, and follows a previous paper on strategy for decarbonising diocesan building stock. Both papers can be found here: https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/research/areas/theology-and-ethics/guardians-of-creation/resources.aspx
Over the past year the dioceses of Plymouth, Westminster and Birmingham have announced their carbon ambitions for 2030. Brentwood and Salford dioceses have both recently released guiding documents for their environmental efforts, and ‘The Journey to 2030,’ a project run by Catholic laity, has launched a new website to help parish communities respond to the ecological crisis at www.journeyto2030.org
Poland's green lights; beacons of humanity for struggling migrants
We have heard in the news about the situation along the Belarusian/Polish border with thousands of migrants supposedly being given tourist visas in a tit-for-tat between the Belarus President and the EU.
Vatican News reports on the good side of this story, whereby Polish Christian activists leave green lights on in their homes, despite the fact that they could be reported for aiding and abetting illegal immigration.
Those green lights tell visitors that there, behind those illuminated windows, sits a bowl of hot soup and a blanket ready for any who pass through, regardless of passports or visas.
Others leave fresh milk, shoes, and large bottles of water outside their doors, so that silent volunteers, who get to work as evening falls, can collect these gifts and drop them off in the woods for those who need them so badly. You can read the rest of the article here.
There is also an item about the work of Caritas Europa and the work that they are doing to save migrants from dying in freezing temperatures along the border. Read it through Vatican News.
COMECE (the Commision of the Bishops Conferences of the European Community) has issued a statement asking the EU and its member states to express practical solidarity with migrants and asylum seekers. Details of their statement are available through COMECE.
Jesuit Refugee Service Advent Service 2021 (Event)
JRS writes: - We are delighted to invite you and your loved ones to our annual Advent Service that will take place this year on Tuesday 7th December, 7pm at Farm Street Church. (plus it will be livestreamed through the Farm Street Church website)
After a long year and a half where we have been physically separated due to the pandemic, we are excited at the prospect of gathering for what is always one of the highlights of the year. The service will feature Advent carols, readings of scripture and poetry, as well as the return of our ever-popular JRS drama group.
More details are available through JRS.
4. Hypersonic missile tests threaten to spark new arms race
This rather worrying article was published in the Universe Catholic Weekly. who have given permission for it to be reproduced: - Catholic peace activists and policy experts have expressed
apprehension after a quantum leap in the arms race after apparently successful tests of ‘hypersonic’ ballistic missiles.
These new weapons are capable of delivering nuclear warheads at speeds that can bypass traditional missile defence systems. And peace groups fear their rapid development opens the door to a new arms race that will weaken global stability and threaten human life.
In recent weeks China, Russia and North Korea have tested hypersonic missiles, and one senior US general has said his country is playing catch up behind the other three. “These tests are symptomatic of the most precarious nuclear predicament since the height of
the ColdWar,” said Gerard Powers, who directs Catholic peace-building studies at the University
of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “The new developments in
hypersonic weapons are a worrisome continuation of an offensive-defensive arms race that was triggered, in part, by the US’s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002,” Powers said. That decision “has led to the very strategic instability and arms race that the Church and many others have long warned about.”
China is leading the way in conducting tests, according to a recent account by the Financial
Times, and though the US has its own version, General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the US Joint
Chiefs of Staff, said that China’s test of a hypersonic weapons system is very concerning and
“very close to a Sputnik moment,” referring to the moment in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched
the satellite, gaining an early upper hand in the space race.
Powers and others called for the nuclear powers to step back from a new arms race. He hopes the
renewal by the US and Russia of a New START agreement to control nuclear weapons would help,
though it will fall short of delivering the deep cuts in nuclear arsenals required. The Vatican also has shared its voice on arms control. Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, theVatican's nuncio to the UN, told a
committee discussing weapons of mass destruction that it is time for nuclear stockpiles “to be definitively capped.”
Quoting Pope Francis, Caccia stressed that world leaders should never forget the people who “who
have suffered the effects of atomic radiation or chemical attacks.” “Again we ask the world to draw
back from the brink of annihilation,” he added. “We need talks on disarmament now."
Thanks to the Universe Catholic Weekly. If you are interested in subscribing to their weekly, environmentally-friendly, emailed newspaper, click here.
5. Tackling pervasive discrimination of Dalits
Mill Hill Missionaries have brought the plight of the Dalit community within the Catholic Church in India to our attention. They may be in the majority in the Church, but they are by no means treated equally, and the article, through Global Sisters Report, is an eye-opener. It is written in the form of a Q & A session with Sr. Robancy Amal Helen, who has been working for the Dalit community. She is a member of Idente Missionaries (Religious Institute of Christ the Redeemer), a new form of consecrated life of pontifical right, who has campaigned and advocated for equality and justice for Dalits in the Catholic Church in India, especially women.
You can read the full article here.
6. UN Security Council fails re the situation in North-West Burma
Last month, Burma Campaign reported on attacks against civilians by the Burmese military. They 'called on the British government to urgently convene a meeting of the UN Security Council, with the aim of the Security Council issuing a clear warning to the military that there would be severe consequences if they went ahead with the offensive.
The British government responded positively, they understood the danger: You can read their response everyone who emailed them here.'
In the last week, the Security Council met, and after days of negotiations finally issued a statement.
However, it made no mention of the situation in North-Western Burma. Russia and China have consistently blocked action, and even strong statements by the UN Security Council.
You can read the Burma Campaign's full statement in response to this here.
7. Stop Loan Sharks
Joanne Hartley, Liaise Officer North West for the England Illegal Money Lending Team writes: - The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) will launch its annual Christmas campaign on 29th November to highlight the dangers of using loan sharks and signpost people to support.
Research carried out by the IMLT has found that Christmas is the second highest reason that people borrow money from loan sharks. This year, there are likely more families impacted financially and emotionally and unfortunately, illegal lenders will look to take advantage of those in difficult situations. We want to stop this exploitation of vulnerable people.
Christmas is meant to be the most wonderful time of year – but for many families trapped in spiralling debt and misery by loan sharks that simply isn’t the case, but with your support we can make this year better for them.
The campaign #AllIWantForChristmas will run across Stop Loan Sharks’ social media channels until December 5. It aims to encourage families to avoid using loan sharks over the festive period and report the crime if they have been affected. It also focuses on informing people about the help available if they are struggling with debt and safer ways to borrow money.
The campaign will use “Dear Santa” stories to highlight the detrimental impact illegal money lending has on families and how this crime can cause serious physical, emotional and psychological damage to children during important stages of their lives.
We’ve provided everything you’ll need to let people know the signs to look out for when dealing with loan sharks, how to report the crime and how to borrow money safely. You can support the campaign by downloading and sharing our campaign assets https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1s7ZD_XvmoBPVC32HOwPcanA4jV_Br2LA?usp=sharing Remember to use the hashtag #AllIWantForChristmas to join the conversation.
8. Red Wednesday 2021
Red Wednesday, a day when hundreds of cathedrals, churches and monuments will be bathed in red light to highlight religious persecution, will be on the 24th November. It is the day when Aid to the Church in Need encourage us to say 'no' to religious and Christian persecution. This year their special focus is on the kidnap, forced marriage and conversion, rape and sexual enslavement of Christian women and girls.
ACN have lots of information and ways in which you can get involved, including a petition, through their website.
There is also an interesting article through Licas News on what is going on around the world for 'Red Week.'
9. Racism is not banter
Over the past week there has been a lot in the news about the racist bullying that Azeem Rafiq has been subjected to at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and the fact that YCCC pretty much pushed the report that they produced under the carpet.
Jon Kuhrt, through Grace + Truth, has put together a very good article, including a summary of what went on, plus words from a contributor by the name of Amit to a Facebook discussion on the issue. You can read it here.
10. NJPN Blog on Independent Catholic News
There are some very good articles to be read from our 'Guest Bloggers' on the ICN website.
3rd November - Building Bridges, Making Links
Patricia Pulham, from Christian CND, writes about the upcoming Barbara Eggleston Memorial Lecture, taking place on the 20th November, and including representatives from the Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist faiths. Read about it here.
Thanks go to our friends at Independent Catholic News for providing us with a platform for our articles. You can check out ICN in full here.
11. NJPN NW E-Bulletin November 2021
In a packed edition NW edition focuses on COP26. Other items include a challenging speech by Pope Francis to the World Meeting of Popular Movements, an inspiring story of love and friendship, a report on Prisons Week including a short video clip which is well-worth watching, white poppies for peace, book reviews and a packed diary. Read it through the NJPN website.
12. Traidcraft Bulletin November 2021
Lots of interesting articles, including a recipe for a yummy sounding Cheesecake! Read it here.
13. Journey to 2030 COP26 Edition
A very interesting edition, but it is not available through their website. Please add your name to their mailing list here.
14. My Green Pod November Issue
Great for sustainable news, articles and products. Catch it here.
15. Birmingham Justice and Peace Commission Autumn 2021
Lots of great articles encompassing various aspects of justice and peace work. Download it here.
16. Salesians Justice and Peace October 2021
CAFOD is their organisation of the month. You can read it here.
EVENTS (in chronological order where applicable)
17. 16th November 3.15pm - 5pm PACT
Conference: Safe, Secure Decent?
18. 17th November 3pm - 6pm - Anti-Slavery International
19. 17th November - 7pm - Green Christian
Joy in Enough
20. 18th November - 6.30pm - 8pm Palestine Solidarity Campaign
UN World Children's Day: The Children of Gaza
21. 20th November - 10am - 1.15pm Caritas Diocese of Nottingham
A change of era: Climate, Covid and the Missionary Parish
22. 20th November - 10am - 3pm - Church Action on Poverty
Annual Conference and AGM
23. 20th November - 12noon - 4pm Christian CND
Building Bridges in the Shadow of Afghanistan
This year’s Barbara Eggleston Memorial Lecture will take place in the Quaker Meeting House,
Oxford on Saturday 20th November from 12.00 noon to 4.00pm.
We have all been affected by the tragedy of recent events in Afghanistan.
The purpose of this event is to learn from our distinguished speakers what the sacred texts of their Faiths say about peace and non-violence, how this affects their teaching and what we can learn from this about peace-building in our campaigns.
All are welcome. Please either register for your free place, or register to watch it on Zoom, here.
24. 25th November - 7pm - CAFOD
Webinar: Looking back to a year of challenges and joys
25. 30th November - 5pm - CAFOD
The Laudato Si' Action Platform and Live Simply
26. 9th December - 7pm - PACT
Christmas Carol Service
27. 14th - 16th January - Christians Aware Annual Conference
Transcending Divisions in a world of diversity
28. Columbans Schools Media Competition
Deadline for entries - 11th February 2022
29. #Wealth Tax Pledge
We’re calling on the UK Government to introduce wealth taxes – taxes on unearned income such as investments, rents and inheritances – at an equal level to taxes on work.
At Church Action for Tax Justice, we want to see a society that reflects the values of fairness and compassion. So we’re calling for a tax system that helps the poorest, and enables the wealthy to contribute a fairer share to society. This must include wealth taxes.
For more information and to add your name, go to the ECCR website here.
30. THE LAST WORD
The Injustice Advent Calendar - 24 days to change the world
Traidcraft writes: -
Forget chocolate. Forget beauty samples.
Forget beard oil, tiny gin bottles and small portions of cheese…
This is the advent calendar that matters.
For Christmas 2021 we’re partnering with a hand-picked selection of world changing organisations to provide you with 24 simple ways to make the world a better place.
Every day until Christmas we’ll send you an opportunity to stand up for justice in a simple way.
Here are the rules…
It will always be free.
It will always take less than 5 minutes to complete.
So you’ll be signing petitions, sending short emails, maybe even texting a friend… but you won’t be giving any money and you won’t be losing hours of your day either.
Fill in the form to be part of it...
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