USCCB News Release
February 17, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
U.S. Bishops, Catholic Relief Services Launch Initiative to Confront Global Poverty
WASHINGTON—In an effort to engage one million Catholics in a fight against global poverty, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) will launch Catholics Confront Global Poverty on February 23, at the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. This initiative will promote human life and dignity by addressing the many faces of poverty.
"In his 2009 World Day of Peace message, Pope Benedict XVI sets forth a challenge: fight poverty to build peace," said Albany Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, who will announce the launch. Drawing on the words of the pope as an inspiration for the initiative, he added, "It is important that 'people everywhere feel personally outraged by the injustices in the world.' Only then can people work together to 'redress the marginalization of the world's poor' and 'fight poverty to build peace.'"
"These faces are related to one another, like the members of a family," said Steve Colecchi, director of International Justice and Peace at the USCCB. "Hunger frustrates the best laid plans for education. Diseases hamper productivity and the ability of people to support their families. War deepens every facet of poverty."
Seeing this connection between poverty and other issues, Catholics Confront Global Poverty will focus on peace, extractive industries, climate change, trade, foreign assistance, migration and debt relief. Background information and Web videos on these topics will be available on the new Catholics Confront Global Poverty Web site, www.usccb.org/globalpoverty, which will go live February 23. The new site will allow visitors to sign up for action alerts and provide real stories of individuals from around the world whose lives have been harmed by global poverty. The site also includes a variety of "pray, learn and share" resources for use by families, parish youth groups, college campuses, catechists and any other groups that with to participate in the initiative.