|Catholics Confront Global Poverty: Video Podcasts
- How did Bishop Hubbard’s experiences as a priest in inner-city Albany open his eyes to the face of Christ in the poor? How have you experienced Christ in the faces of those living in poverty?
- In his discussion of solidarity and interdependence as a human family, Bishop Hubbard reminds us that we are all debased by poverty—not just those who are directly its victims. How is this true?
- How is the fulfillment of peoples’ God-given dignity related to peace?
- How will you become involved in the effort to enlist one million Catholics to confront global poverty?
U.S. International Assistance
- How does international aid make a difference in the lives of the poor?
- How would increasing and improving international assistance reflect the values of Catholic social teaching, such as global solidarity and the common good?
- In the video, Bill encourages Catholics to talk about how international assistance relates to our identity as Americans and as Catholics. Take a few minutes to discuss what you feel are “American” values and “Catholic” values. How do these values relate to international assistance?
- How can you communicate these values to U.S. leaders?
Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding
- What stories about those impacted by conflict stood out to you?
- What is the relationship between conflict and poverty?
- In the video, what connection does Steve make between the Church’s sponsorship of soccer games and building a peaceful society? What is the relationship between aid, development, and peace?
- What should the U.S. government do to better bring about peace?
- What can Catholics do to end current conflicts and prevent future conflicts from beginning? What can you do as part of your parish or community?
- Why is debt forgiveness important? How does debt affect the poorest people in developing countries?
- What examples does Gerry give of how specific countries have benefited from debt forgiveness?
- How have Catholics been involved in the campaign to forgive poor country debt?
- What do you think inspired their involvement? Why do you think they and others have called their efforts the “Jubilee” campaign? (Hint: Read Leviticus 25 and Deuteronomy 15:1-18.)
Global Trade and Agricultural Policies
- How are the poorest persons in developing countries, such as families in West Africa with small cotton farms, affected by injustices in the global trade system?
- Why do rich countries have a special responsibility to “create a fair contract” when trading with poor countries?
- Fr. Andrew names several Catholic social teaching values that are related to trade. Discuss the following in relation to what you have learned from the video:
- The dignity of work and ability of workers to participate in a system that contributes to their well-being
- Basic human rights, such as the ability to send one’s children to school
- The ability of persons to build and strengthen healthy communities
- Ensuring that the most vulnerable persons, not just the most powerful, benefit from trade and agricultural policies
- Take a moment to look at the labels on the clothing you are wearing. Where was your clothing made? What relationship do you have with the persons who made your clothing and what responsibility do you have to ensure that these persons are receiving living wages and being treated with dignity and respect?
- Rees points out that some of the poorest countries are rich in natural resources. Who benefits from the natural resources in such countries? Why haven’t the poorest benefited?
- How can our actions and choices as individuals contribute to violence around natural resources? What can you do as a consumer to make sure your purchasing habits do not contribute to violence?
- What is the relationship between corruption and whether or not natural resource extraction benefits the common good?
- Look online to see if you can find information about local activists in countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Peru, Cambodia, or another country are working to fight corruption. How can you support their efforts?
- In the video, Rees references the Publish What You Pay campaign. Find out more about this campaign online. What actions can you take to encourage corporations to practice transparency and the U.S. government to ensure that resource extraction respects the rights of local communities?
- Recall Mary’s story about a teenage migrant who asked Mary’s group to pray that she and others like her would not be forced to migrate. What conditions compel people to migrate? Given that it is so dangerous to migrate, why do people do so?
- Why does Mary call communities from which most working age people have migrated “nurseries” and “nursing homes”? How does migration affect families?
- In the video, Mary identifies a key component of Catholic teaching about migration: the idea that people have a right to remain in their own homes and to not migrate. She also discusses how the rural poor are increasingly being forced to migrate as a result of injustices in the global economic system. Read about global trade or watch the podcast on this topic and then discuss how trade injustices are related to migration.
- How will you or your group act to encourage local and national leaders to both protect the dignity of immigrants already in the United States and to address the root causes of migration?
- What are some of the effects of climate change on people in developing countries? How is it true that global climate change has the greatest affect on the people who contribute to it the least?
- Recall Cecilia’s story about alpaca farmers in Peru. How can climate change make it more difficult for poor persons to meet their basic needs?
- Visit the web page of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change (www.catholicsandclimatechange.org). Brainstorm ways your group can take the five steps that the coalition recommends: Pray, Learn, Assess, Act, and Advocate.
- How can you work to help Catholics better understand some of the concepts highlighted in Catholic teaching about climate change, including those below?
- Prudence (the idea that we do not need to know every detail about the possible impacts of climate change in order to take action now)
- The common good
- Our moral obligation to both present and future generations