It is a privilege to be in Rome at a time of major focus and energy on the churches’ call to the cause of justice and righteousness. In particular the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury have once again come to the same mind in the same way at the same time on matters of world development.
The combined focus on the newly revamped global goals at the United Nations have inspired and mobilised them and many other faith leaders as the associated article shows. In fact it was faith community initiatives that recently saw the inclusion of modern slavery and human trafficking as an addition to goal number eight, “Decent work and economic growth”, because of the great concern slavery has caused to global faiths in recent years.
So we may pray with even greater hope, your kingdom come on earth….
FROM THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION NEWS SERVICE (www.anglicannews.org)
As world leaders adopt Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations post-2015 agenda summit today, faith leaders are urging their communities to play their part to ensure that the Goals move from policy to action to transform the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable while also tackling climate change.
In his address to the UN summit, Pope Francis proposed a shift in the relationship between humanity and the planet by asserting that Creation itself has rights that needed to be protected. “It must be stated that a true ‘right of the environment’ does exist… Any harm done to the environment, therefore is harm done to humanity,” he said.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby warmly welcomed the adoption by the UN General Assembly of an ambitious agenda to tackle poverty, inequality and injustice and climate change over the next fifteen years, and underlined the need to root such actions in the core values of justice and compassion, standing alongside the poor.
“Our response, today and in the years to come, must seek to emulate the sacrificial pattern of love and servant-hearted leadership that is demonstrated perfectly in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The powerful are called to serve, the rich to give, and the vulnerable to be cherished, so that they may flourish and stand strong,” Archbishop Justin said in his statement.
In responding to the earlier Millennium Development Goals through provision of health and education services, the global Anglican Church had sought to model this example, he noted. Better access to education, reduced child and maternal mortality and a turning of tide on HIV/AIDS and other diseases were tangible results.
Archbishop Justin lifted up the central role of the Church in the fight to end poverty. “In places of instability and conflict, it is often the church – along with other faith communities - that is the sole surviving institution providing hope, relief and support to those most in need.”
But ongoing engagement was crucial, Archbishop Justin said. Members of the Anglican Communion needed to work together to redouble efforts to banish global extreme poverty and inequality.
“My prayer is that each and every one of us would have the courage to live our lives for the common good; to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly in pursuit of a world free from poverty and injustice.”
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