U.S. Landmines Policy Blight on July Fourth Celebrations
Celebrations of the Fourth of July, the nation's birthday, will have a cloud over them so long as the United States refuses to ban landmines. "These weapons of war kill innocent people long after a war is over," said Mercy Sister Janice Ryan, coordinator of the Catholic Campaign Against Landmines. "They are a stain on the American conscience. The Administration's recent announcement that the United States will sign the international landmine treaty when the Pentagon has alternatives to antipersonnel landmines and that it will aggressively search for these alternatives offers some hope . The nation's signing the treaty is critical to achieving a global ban. Meanwhile the Administration should use the treaty framework to share technology, disclose landmine stockpiles, identify mine areas, support demining and assist mine victims."
Sister Janice Ryan, RSM can be reached at 202-541-3149.
You Can Make It Right!
The violence and other forms of conflict which saturate society makes it incumbent upon all to work for reconciliation. "This needs to begin in the home," says Patricia Ryan Garcia, of the Catholic Communication Campaign, which launches a national radio, TV and print public service campaign for reconciliation in July. "The worst place for conflict is in the family because that is where peace must begin," says Ms. Garcia. "The campaign will alert people to the fact that siblings who don't speak to one another and parents and children who are estranged need to face the situation squarely. As the campaign slogan notes, 'If you think you can't make it right, you're wrong.'"
Patricia Ryan Garcia can be reached at 202-541-3404.
Millennium Plans Underway Across the Country
With Jubilee Year 2000 only 18 months away, "church groups are lining up activities coast to coast. Some plan a special New Year's Eve Mass to welcome in the New Millennium," said Paul Henderson, head of the U.S. Bishops' Office for the Third Millennium and Jubilee Year 2000. "Others plan religious festivals or vigils for New Year's Eve, pilgrimages among downtown churches, the ringing of bells, opening of special church doors and signing a pledge for justice and peace. During the year 2000 there also will be special days known as Jubilee Days to honor people of different vocations and/or professions."
Paul Henderson can be reached at 202-541-3245.