USCCB News Release
September 22, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bishop William Winter To Join Religious Leaders To Press For Action During G-20 Summit
PITTSBURGH—On the eve of the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh, Bishop William J. Winter, retired auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh, will join more than 25 Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders for a Religious Leaders Summit to press for actions that will help hungry and poor people lift themselves out of poverty. This will include a press conference on Wednesday, September 23, at 9 a.m. at the Renaissance Hotel in Pittsburgh.
Regarding his participation in the G-20 Religious Leaders Summit, Bishop Winter said: “As our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, taught in his recent encyclical, ‘Through support for economically poor countries by means of financial plans inspired by solidarity … not only can true economic growth be generated, but a contribution can be made towards sustaining the productive capacities of rich countries that risk being compromised by the crisis.’ The fates of rich and poor countries are linked.”
Organized by Bread for the World, the Alliance to End Hunger, and other organizations, the religious leaders will convene to press world leaders to fulfill their promises to help people who have suffered from the global economic recession.
“The most important indicator of economic recovery should be what happens to hungry and poor people—the many families who are struggling in our own country and the tens of millions who have been driven into hunger around the world,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice urging U.S. decision-makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
The worst global recession came on the heels of two years of soaring food prices. Together, these crises have led to dramatic increases in hunger and poverty around the world. For the first time in history, over a billion people are suffering from hunger.
“The message of the Religious Leaders Summit reinforces longstanding commitments of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to poor persons at home and abroad. Earlier this year the USCCB and Catholic Relief Services launched a Catholics Confront Global Poverty initiative,” said Dr. Stephen Colecchi, Director of the USCCB Office of International Justice and Peace, and another participant in the G20 Religious Leaders Summit.
During the week of the G-20 Summit, Sept. 24-25, U.S. administration officials are expected to provide details on a new initiative to reduce hunger and poverty around the world. Faith leaders gathered for the summit will voice their support for action to reduce hunger and poverty in the September 23 press conference. Immediately following the press conference, the religious leaders will go in a procession to the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, at 320 6th Avenue, where they are slated to meet with representatives of the U.S. delegation to the G-20.
The Group of 20 (G-20), established in 1999, brings together major industrialized and developing economies to discuss global economic issues. Together, these countries account for 90 percent of global gross national product, 80 percent of world trade, and represent two-thirds of the world's population.
Keywords: G-20, global poverty, economic crisis, religious leaders, summit, Pittsburgh