Monday, June 04, 2007

Bishops worth listening to

The presidents of seven of the Catholic bishops' conferences of the G8 have sent a joint letter to the annual confab of rich nations in Germany, encouraging the leaders of the eight major industrialized nations to "take bold action on global poverty, health care, climate change, and peace and security, [and] work towards greater access to quality education for all," according to Catholic Online. Conference presidents from Canada, Germany, the U.K., France, Japan, Russia, and the U.S. all signed the letter; the president of the Italian bishops' conference does not seemed to have signed.

This is the kind of leadership we should be getting out of our conferences; it would be even better if they all showed up to lobby in whatever way they can. How about a fast in front of the meeting space for justice and peace? Why not invite leaders from other religious traditions to join them?

And it's especially nice to see Catholic bishops offering a comprehensive vision of social justice rather than a now-predictable harangue from certain quarters about gay marriage and abortion. For the latter, you can check out in the U.K. Guardian the latest from Scotland's Cardinal Keith O'Brien, whose rhetoric is only bound to drive folks away from a sensible political settlement on the issue of abortion.



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