in Pennsylvania's First Congressional District's_1st_congressional_district
and the Central Garden State

Friday, April 14, 2017

Social Teaching/International Issues

Social Teaching/International Issues

  • Christian leaders question Pakistan-Afghanistan border wall (CWN, 4/5/17
  • "But others said, 'The Christ will not come from Galilee, will He? Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David's family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?'" (4/1/17)

  • "For the Alliance Against Trafficking in Persons to gather for a 17th Conference in Vienna is a welcome sign of the OSCE’s determination to eradicate what must be among the most shameful dynamics to scar the face of modern humanity.  Most believers of any faith and people of all persuasions are shocked, indeed scandalized, when they discover that trafficking occurs in every country and that it represents a most prosperous business on the planet. It is a form of slavery, a crime against humanity, a grave violation of human rights, an atrocious scourge, and it is all the more to be condemned when it takes place against children" (Pope Francis, 4/3/17)
  • "I thank you for your presence here tonight, on the eve of the sixtieth anniversary of the signing of the Treaties instituting the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community....As Saint John Paul II affirmed: 'Today too, the soul of Europe remains united, because, in addition to its common origins, those same Christian and human values are still alive. Respect for the dignity of the human person, a profound sense of justice, freedom, industriousness, the spirit of initiative, love of family, respect for life, tolerance, the desire for cooperation and peace: all these are its distinctive marks'.[13]....Ours is a time of discernment, one that invites us to determine what is essential and to build on it. It is a time of challenge and opportunity" (Pope Francis, 3/24/17).
  • "This Conference intends to negotiate a Treaty inspired by ethical and moral arguments. It is an exercise in hope and it is my wish that it may also constitute a decisive step along the road towards a world without nuclear weapons. Although this is a significantly complex and long-term goal, it is not beyond our reach" (Pope Francis, 3/23/17).
  • "I also offer a special welcome to the participants in the 'Watershed' Conference on replenishing water values for a thirsty world'....Today is World Water Day, instituted twenty-five years ago by the United Nations....I am happy that this meeting is taking place, for it represents yet another stage in the joint commitment of various institutions to raising consciousness about the need to protect water as a treasure belonging to everyone, mindful too of its cultural and religious significance" (Pope Francis, 3/22/17).
  • "another hero of conscience will be beatified in Bolzano by the Catholic Church, Josef Mayr-Nusser [He] Italian citizen from the South Tyrol, a German-speaking enclave in northern Italy....In 1943 Italy switched sides and German troops occupied northern Italy. German-speakers were forced to join the Wehrmacht....On October 4, his unit was to take the oath of loyalty to Adolph Hitler. But he refused. 'I cannot take an oath to Hitler in the name of God,' he declared. 'I cannot do it because my faith and conscience do not allow it.'  He was adamant, even though his comrades tried to persuade him to take the 'meaningless' oath. 'If no one ever finds the courage to tell them that they don’t agree with their Nazi ideology nothing will ever change,' he told them.  He was arrested, imprisoned and transferred to Danzig for trial. Condemned in January 1945 for undermining military morale, he was sentenced to death. On the way to Dachau in a cattle car, weakened by starvation and feverish with dysentery, he died at Erlangen on February 24.  The explanation for his courageous act of resistance can be found in an observation he had once made about the Fascist cult of leadership: 'To give witness today is our only and our most effective weapon'” (MercatorNet, 3/17/17).
  • "2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution. At that time, Mao’s wife, Jiang Qing, made the statement 'We have sent religion to the history museum.' 50 years later, instead of reflecting on the devastating effects of that period, the current Communist regime adopted laws and policies that inverted progress and plunged mainland China into another era of despair.  As the government’s core religious policy shifted from the mutual adaptation of socialism and religion to religion adhering to Sinicization, its rhetoric changed from 'socialism' to 'Sinicization dominated by the CCP.'   Religious communities in China suffered the greatest impact from these alterations, especially Christians.  Although Christians endured various forms of harassment in 2016, the fundamental revisions to religious policy foreshadow more intense persecution. A harrowing winter has arrived; however, as the chilling seasons always yield to warmer climates, spring will someday spread across China. China Aid believes that God will protect and preserve Christians and churches because we believe that 'The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever' (Psalm 29:10)"(2016 Annual Report: Chinese Government Persecution of Churches and Christians in Mainland China (China Aid, 2/1/17)).

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