Ahmedabad: Caritas Internationalis will hold its 20th General Assembly in Rome from May 12th to 17th 2015 bringing together over 400 leaders of Catholic Agencies from 164 countries across the world.
The theme of the Assembly is “One Human Family, Caring for Creation” and it will focus on growing inequalities as well as the impact of climate change in the run-up to a landmark papal encyclical on ecology and a critical UN meeting in Paris. This important Assembly which meets every four years will begin on May 12th with a Mass presided over by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Jesuit Human Rights activist Fr. Cedric Prakash from Ahmedabad has been invited to address the Assembly as one of the key-note speakers on “Growing inequalities: a challenge to the One Human Family’. Fr. Prakash is the Founder-Director of PRASHANT, the Ahmedabad-based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace.
He will address the assembly on Wednesday, May 13th together with the renowned economist Prof. Jeffrey Sachs. The other speakers at the assembly include Rev. Beverley Haddad of the Anglican Church of South Africa, well known for her work in the field of church and development and Fr. Gustavo Gutierriz Merino, the famed liberation theologian from Peru who has spent much of his life working for the poor and oppressed.
In a letter to Fr. Prakash on behalf of the President of Caritas Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, the Secretary General of Caritas Mr. Michel Roy writes, “we would be very pleased and honoured to have you as a key-note speaker, together with Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, to bring a different voice in this session. You could give us some inputs for reflection on how to reduce inequalities and achieve a really sustainable development.”
Fr. Prakash hopes to bring an Asian perspective to this august gathering.
Following is the copy of the letter received by Fr Cedric from Michel Roy-Secretary General, Caritas Internationalis:
Dear Father Cedric,
Greetings from Rome! We met at the CORDAID 100th anniversary memorial seminar on the mystique of fraternity last year. Hope you are fine! am writing to you on behalf of our President, Card. Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga and myself concerning our 20th General Assembly to be held in Rome, on 12th – 17th May 2015.
This Assembly will gather more than 400 Members from all over the world as well as representatives of the Holy See, NGOs and religious leaders. Beyond its statutory parts, and in order to enrich the reflection on the finalization of our strategic framework for the years to come, we will work on the following topics:
1. A poor Church for the Poor;
2. Growing inequalities : a challenge to the one human family;
3. Climate change and its effects on human development;
4. One human family : food for all. The issue of food security and C.I. Campaign for the Right to Food.
All these topics will be discussed in Plenary Sessions with the participation of experts, pastors and representatives of Caritas grassroots work. In the second Plenary Session on inequalities and justice, we would like to highlight lights and shadows of the current economic system and its impact on society. Although many steps have been taken in the last decades to improve people’s welfare in areas such as health care, education and communications, growing inequalities between peoples and regions in the world have made a large number of people fall into a spiral of poverty and insecurity. In the light of Pope Francis words in Evangelii Gaudium (n°. 52), we wish to reflect together on new economic and social approaches to ensure a more human, equitable and sustainable development for all. We know that you work altogether with many people on these issues.
And thus, we would be very pleased and honoured to have you as a key-note speaker, together with Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, to bring a different voice in this session. It will be held on 13th May from 3 to 5 p.m. You could give us some inputs for reflection on how to reduce inequalities and achieve a really sustainable development. Your speech would be followed by an intervention of a Caritas grassroots leader a debate with the participants. Please find attached a draft agenda of our General Assembly.
I thank you in advance for your attention and hope you will be interested and able to make it. With my best regards, in Christ, Michel Roy-Secretary General
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