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Flashpoints

  • The Sisters of Saint Anne (SSA) were very involved before and during the negotiations leading up to the Paris climate accord. Many signed petitions for the Paris conference to culminate in a3 universal, ambitious and legally binding agreement. During the negotiations from 30 November to 12 December, many read the daily reports; others took part in the World Climate March on 29 November, especially in Victoria and Ottawa. In the photo, a tree with the names of more than 125 SSAs and associates was borne through the streets of Ottawa. On December 10, they prayed together that the Paris discussions would advance in a positive direction. Their Advent 2015 booklet included a number of quotations from the encyclical Laudato si’. Finally, their Social Justice Office distributed the terms of the Paris Agreement in order to give a better idea of it and the stages involved in its implementation over the next few years.
  • Nine Religious Sisters of Charity from seven countries met in Dublin for the Sisters of Charity Anti Human Trafficking Meeting. Also participating were 3 members of other congregations who work with them; Winston Moyo from Zambia; and Kanthi, a survivor of trafficking who shared her play, “Letters from my mother,” which was read by a group of actors one evening during their week together. The group also visited various anti-trafficking organizations, both 4government and private. Perhaps the saddest news of the day was that the number of children being trafficked in Ireland for abuse and pornography has greatly increased. At the meeting they developed a Statement with recommendations for a Monthly Prayer Day for victims, survivors and perpetrators (2nd Friday of the month), and that each area should send someone to the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March. They share with you Winston Moyo’s song which he wrote for RSCs: “Let us rise as one” https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MHpmzHiiaI8#!
  • Brigidine Sister Anne Phibbs is active in a newly-formed branch of ANZRATH (Aotearoa-New Zealand Religious Against the Trafficking of Humans) in Wellington, New Zealand. They have had guest speakers – a Catholic cardinal and a social justice advocate for the Salvation Army—among others. Labor exploitation is a significant concern for New Zealand, and the TIP report notes that they are a source country for children subjected to sex trafficking within the country. They learned that while New Zealand has not yet taken sufficient steps to prevent forced labor, Parliament has passed a law requiring all foreign charter vessels fishing in New Zealand waters to operate as New Zealand vessels and abide by New Zealand’s health and labor laws. They are hoping to increase efforts to proactively identify victims through screening of vulnerable populations, including women and children in prostitution, foreign workers and illegal migrants (and) significantly increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offences.
  • The sisters in IRELAND warn us not to get too excited about progress against fracking! In spite of what government sources may say, they have not ruled it out. If you want accurate information they suggest these sites:

People Before Profit join environmental groups to propose Dáil bill banning fracking
http://www.antaisce.org/articles/an-taisce-welcomes-proposed-prohibition-of-fracking-bill
https://uplift.ie/fracking/ & https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Ban_Fracking_Ireland/?fAgUJjb&pv=37.

  • Someone sent us a site with good interfaith curricula and resources. Many of them are free, but unfortunately mostly in English. (From the Scarboro Foreign Mission Society)
    https://www.scarboromissions.ca/Interfaith_dialogue/student_resources.php