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The Rich Get Richer: “Ninety-five percent of all economic gains in the U.S. since the Great Recession went to the top 1 percent. What does our growing wealth inequality mean for the future of democracy? Economic inequality isn’t new. But this spring it became trendy, especially after Pope Francis dropped the tweet heard ‘round the world in April: ‘Inequality is the root of social evil.’ … the inequality gap should be of concern to everyone, whatever their income or ideology. The point is not the fact that there are differences in wealth – those exist in any human society. And it’s not necessarily helpful or productive to seek scapegoats or assign broad characteristics to particular classes; neither poor people in general nor rich people in general are inherently noble, lazy, or scheming – temptations may vary, but good and evil can be found in people of every economic status. What’s most important – and troubling – is the decades-long, systemic expansion of the economic distance between the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor, and the long, backward slide for the majority of those in-between. The gaps’ the thing. No matter what your favorite economic theory, this distance is a big problem.

“…Extreme wealth inequality carries the seeds of economic and social destruction: As more people are excluded from opportunity, the bulk of the economy as a whole slows and becomes less sustainable, and the social fabric strains and tears. Extreme inequality unravels participatory democracy and leads to the rule of the few over the many. It fails to uphold ethical standards of fairness and the common good. Instead of markets serving human needs and dignity, money becomes an idol, and people and values are sacrificed to serve what Pope Francis calls a ‘deified market.’ …But the stunning numbers around income inequality don’t represent the really big gap: wealth inequality. One percent of households in the U.S. own 35.4 percent of all our wealth, as of 2010.  Wealth, in this case, means all the stocks, houses, and cash that people own. Ten percent of households in the U.S. own 76.7 percent of all our wealth. (The bottom 40 percent of U.S. households carries ‘negative wealth’, or debt.)”

(From Sojourners, August 2014)

Catholic University Raises Minimum Wage: “A Catholic university in Pittsburgh has raised the minimum wage for its employees to $15 an hour as part of a plan to increase wages for its lowest-paid workers, the university announced. The wage increase, effective July 1, affects about 100 non-contract employees at Duquesne University, which has a total workforce of about 2,100, including about 1,600 full-time and about 500 part-time employees. ‘This will only impact those who are already at the bottom of our pay scale.  Lifting the minimum of course means lifting the bottom,’ Charles Dougherty, university president, told NCR. ‘Everybody got a raise this year.  But nobody got the kind of raise that the people who were making minimum wage got.’ The minimum wage rise will not apply to faculty, who are contract employees and aren’t paid per hour, to students who work on campus, nor to the approximate 390 contract workers who run Duquesne’s dining services and bookstore.

“The action is part of a plan the university announced in fiscal year 2011 to aggressively increase wages for workers such as clerical staff, parking attendants, maintenance staff, security and police officers. …The university minimum wage was $12.50 in fiscal year 2012.  The next year wages increased to $13 per hour and then to $14 in fiscal year 2014. The wage increased to $15 per hour for the current fiscal year…The increases were large compared with the 2 percent to 3.5 percent increases in the ‘general pool for raises for everybody on campus,’ Dougherty said. …A major influence on raising the minimum wage was the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, also known as the Spiritans, a Roman Catholic religious order that emphasizes ‘outreach to the poor and those who are in marginal situations,’ according to Dougherty.  ‘So when we do our strategic planning, and think about what we are as a university and where we’re heading, we always bear that in mind; that shapes our view of our pay scale.’”

(From National Catholic Reporter, Aug. 15-28, 2014)

New EPA Rules Address Climate Change: “On June 2, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy announced the next phase in the Obama administration’s war on carbon pollution.  The Clean Power Plan aims to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions from existing fossil-fuel power plants (the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S.) 30 percent by 2030.  That same day the stock market closed with record highs, and more than 173 companies and investors sent a letter to President Obama in support.  Business understands that these regulations are good for long-term economic health. State governments have welcomed the new plan because while the carbon limits are fixed, the path to achieving them is flexible.  It allows both ‘rate-based’ and ‘mass-based’ methods of reduction, something unusual for the EPA, thus allowing some states to target specific industries and others to aim for overall carbon reductions.  Catholic social teaching includes the principle of ‘subsidiarity’ – let the most competent authority closest to the problem determine what works best in achieving a common-good goal. The Clean Power Plan that McCarthy, a Catholic, has rolled out does that.  Yet it’s not enough and it’s not fast enough to beat our ecological endgame.

“President Obama has pledged to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. …This fall he may launch a low-intensity war on methane pollution from fracking and landfills.  It’s not enough.  There are too many loopholes. If we had a working Congress, Obama might take giant steps toward his promise of cutting U.S. greenhouse gas pollution. But a key component for that to succeed would be ending handouts to fossil-fuel companies and passing a common-good, integrity-of-creation, pro-life carbon tax. …The low-risk, conservative goal [for greenhouse gases] – where we get a planet that’s healthy for children and other living things – is 350 ppm or lower. Currently, our carbon levels are at 401.8 ppm. It’s not enough, but the ship is turning. In mid-June, Union Theological Seminary announced it was divesting investments in fossil fuels from its $108.4 endowment, becoming the first seminary in the world to do so.  A week later, the Catholic University of Dayton announced it was divesting fossil fuels from its $670 million investment pool. Christians don’t just look for hope in desperate times; we are the hope in desperate times.”

(From Sojourners, September-October 2014)

Keystone XL Grinds to a Halt: “In yet another blow to Big Oil’s plans to dramatically boost production of one of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuels, the Obama Administration has indefinitely delayed its decision on whether to approve the massive Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.  The move follows a Nebraska court ruling that found Governor Dave Heineman had acted unlawfully in approving a route for the pipeline across the state, a decision that has thrust the project into legal limbo. ‘This delay is definitely a setback for the tar sands industry,’ says Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, director of NRDC’s international program, ‘but the effects of climate change are not waiting, and they will grow worse in the months ahead.  We’ll use this welcome reprieve to build on the widespread, growing public opposition to the project and keep spreading the truth about Keystone XL, which is that it would drive more climate chaos around the world.’

“The 2,000-mile-long pipeline would snake from the tar sands fields of Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast, carrying some 830,000 barrels of heavy tar sands crude every day.  Production of tar sands oil requires more energy than the production of any other fossil fuel on earth – generating three times the carbon pollution of conventional crude, for example – at a time when the threats posed by global warming are growing ever more dire and urgent, according to the world’s leading climate scientists. A comprehensive assessment based on more than 12,000 peer-reviewed studies released in March by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that impacts from global warming are already being felt across every continent and all the world’s oceans, and that aggressive action to rein in carbon pollution must be taken now to curb the most catastrophic threats.”

(From Nature’s Voice, Natural Resources Defense Council, Summer 2014)

Sudan Bans Church Construction: “Christians in Sudan frequently face arrests, impromptu questioning and expulsion.  But in July, conditions worsened after the government announced a ban on the construction of new churches. Shalil Abdullah, minister for guidance and religious endowments, made the announcement on July 12, sparking criticism from top Christian clerics who warned of shrinking worship space in the mainly Muslim and Arab north. After South Sudan’s independence in 2011, many Christians moved to the newly formed country, which has a large Christian population.  But a sizable number remained. Abdullah argued there is no need to grant plots of land for new churches since the existing ones were enough for the remaining Christians.  Christian Solidarity Worldwide, an organization that works on behalf of persecuted Christians, said in a statement that the continued practice of demolishing and confiscating church land constitutes a violation of the right of freedom of religion or belief.”

(From National Catholic Reporter, Aug. 15-28, 2014)

Unthinkable Violence Drives Hondurans North: “They set out – alone, terrified and at the utter mercy of gangs and criminals – on a treacherous journey for the promised land: a mass exodus of children, some as young as 4. Most are fleeing their homes in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, and it is un milagro, a miracle, if they ever arrive at the U.S. border. The migrant trails through Mexico are torturous and fraught with dangers. Most children must not only endure the blazing desert sun, but get through La Arrocera, a lawless region where many have been beaten, robbed or raped. More than a few are murdered. They are often shaken down by corrupt Mexican police and immigration officers who threaten to deport them unless they pay a bribe.  Some are kidnapped and held in groups until relatives pay a ransom. But if their luck holds – if they escape serious injury and have not been deported or abducted – they might catch a ride on the roof of a freight train that could bring them near the U.S. border.

“But the train, known as ‘La Bestia,’ has its own deadly perils, as it passes through areas controlled by drug cartels.  Children have fallen off or been thrown off the roof if they couldn’t pay criminals who prey on the easy targets. If they do make it to the border, they face swimming the Rio Grande.  If their families have paid a coyote to get the macros to the border, their smuggler is likely to also be a drug trafficker.  …If they don’t drown, they arrive strangers in a strange land. More than a few of the girls are pregnant from rape… .More than 60,000 children have been arrested so far this year, many of whom are warehoused in detention centers, where they often languish in a legal limbo. And yet they keep coming.”

(From National Catholic Reporter, Aug. 15-28, 2014)

Unaccompanied Minors: Faithful and Compassionate Action Needed: “When a humanitarian crisis becomes political, the ‘human’ is often lost in the process.  We can’t let that happen as our nation responds to the crisis of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children arriving at our borders. Even the terminology used in political battles can dehumanize these children – ‘illegals’ in the popular parlance and ‘Unaccompanied Alien Children’ or ‘UAC’ in official government language. …To comprehend the human dimensions of the current crisis, we need to understand why these children are, as well as how and why they are showing up at our borders. … According to the Congressional Research Service, almost all unaccompanied children coming to our borders arrive from four countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.  In FY2009, fully 82% of these children came from Mexico, and only 17% originated in Central America. These percentages changed drastically in recent years, however.  From October 2013 through May 2014 (the first eight months of FY2014), only one-quarter of the children were Mexican.  In contrast, 73% were from the Central American nations. Overall numbers of children also grew dramatically – from just under 20,000 in FY2009 to 52,000 in the first 8 ½ months of FY2014.

“Why the change? Children and their families do not suddenly decide to travel north for trivial reasons. …Families in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras deal with high levels of poverty, unemployment and inadequate access to education accompanied by decreases in government social spending. ...But this current crisis is fueled even more strongly by the dangers that children in these families now experience – including tragically high levels of violence and coercion caused by local gang activity and multinational criminality. …El Salvadoran children said that they were constantly faced with extortion, had witnessed murders, and had experienced criminal threats to themselves, their families and friends. Girls also feared sexual violence. …According to a 2013 report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Honduras is the most violent country in the world, with 90.4 murders per 100,000 people. El Salvador (41.2) and Guatemala (39.9) also have extremely high murder rates when compared with the rest of the world.”

(From NETWORK Connection, Third Quarter 2014)

Prisoners Dilemma: “The evidence is piling up that too many Americans are wasting away in prison. The National Academy of Sciences, for example, recently concluded in a major two-year study that the United States ‘has gone past the point where the numbers of people in prison can be justified by the social benefits.’ Other groups, like Human Rights Watch, the Brennan Center for Corrections, Corrections Today and the University of Chicago Crime Lab, have also raised their voices.  Pope Francis, in his address to the International Criminal Law Association on May 30, called for major reforms of the criminal justice systems. …Having quadrupled in the past four decades, the prison population in the United States today is 2.2 million, or about one of every 100 adults.  This rate far exceeds that of other western democracies.  Maintenance for each prisoner costs taxpayers $30,000 a year.  Over half of the inmates are locked up for nonviolent offenses. ...For every 100,000 Americans in each of the following groups, according to [a] report, there are 478 white males, 3,023 black males, 51 white females and 129 black females in prison.

“Too often the system fails to treat prisoners as human beings; each person has a right to fair trial and punishment and equal protection under the law. …The criminal justice system has changed significantly over the past 40 years.  People are doing more time than ever before.  Sentences have grown longer thanks to legislatures that want to appear tough on crime, most notably through mandatory minimum sentences and ‘three strikes’ laws.  States have also farmed out prison management to private contractors who run institutions for profit. More convicts mean more money for their investors. Families bear the consequences of incarceration.  In the last two decades of the 20th century, the number of children with incarcerated fathers in the United States shot up from 350,000 to 2.1 million.  In addition, former inmates have a hard time finding work or housing, and families can crumble as the behavior of children is influenced by the jail time of their parents.  New laws must address the new reality.”

(From America, Aug. 4-11, 2014)

Free Trade: Threat to Food Safety, Security: “Hunger is a daily reality for billions around the world.  Food security – or access to and the availability of nutritious food – for all people can only be achieved through good development policy that prioritizes local economies and sustainable food systems. In addresses to the Food and Agriculture Organization, both Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 and Pope Francis in 2013 asked us to examine and ensure policies that eliminate food insecurity, including support for small farmers and cooperatives. However current international trade policies actually are harming solutions to global hunger and food security.  Trade agreements remove preferences for local economies, and instead increase income inequality, displacement of farmers, and prioritize profit over the common good. The U.S. is currently negotiating two trade agreements, one with the European Union (EU) and the other with nations of the Pacific Rim, representing roughly 80 percent of the global economy and 1.3 billion people around the world.  The results of these agreements will affect food security as well as the safety of food globally.

“The Trans-Atlantic and Investment Partnership (TTIP) seeks to strengthen the political and economic bond between the U.S. and the EU.  However, because tariffs between the two continents are already so low, TTIP is really about developing trade rules that the U.S. and EU can agree upon for conceptualizing and implementing future trade agreements with developing nations. In the context of food policy, TTIP will focus on weakening food safety standards in Europe. …An influx of foreign foods and goods from the EU being imported at a lower price will also threaten ‘buy local’ movements occurring throughout the U.S. and the EU…The Obama administration is also negotiating the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), an agreement with 12 countries in the Pacific Rim. …Due to the inclusion of Canada and Mexico it is often seen as a way to renegotiate the North American Free Trade agreement (NAFTA.) Between the TPP and TTIP, we are seeing a trend of profits before people, a model that is monopolizing agriculture policy both in the U.S. and abroad.”

(From NewsNotes, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, July-August 2014)

KSU President Shares Salary with Lowest-paid:  “Kentucky State University’s interim president Raymond Burse has donated over $90,000 of his own salary to boost the pay of minimum wage workers at KSU. This means a jump from $7.25 to up to $10.25 an hour.  ‘This is not a publicity stunt,’ he said. ‘You don’t give up $90,000 for publicity. I did this for the people.  This is something I’ve been thinking about from the very beginning.’  The raise in pay for those employees will stay in place even after a new president is selected, he said.  It will be the rate for all new hires as well.  The change is immediate. His salary, originally $349,869, is now $259,745.   Burse was president at KSU from 1982-1989 and recently took over as interim president for just a 12-month period.  During the meantime, he worked as an executive for GE.  A pretty amazing gesture that will make a difference in many people’s lives.”

 (From Daily Kos, Aug. 4, 2014)

Toledo Water Ban Exposes Toxins: “We are awash in toxins. Think about the GMO’s, the fracking chemicals, pesticides, coal and oil spills – they just won’t go away.  The Toledo area’s poisoned water emergency situation the weekend of Aug. 2 set my inner panic button to screeching.  Nearly a half million people throughout northwest Ohio and southeastern Michigan were forced to rely on bottled water for two days after a local treatment plant showed elevated readings for microcystin bacteria in Lake Erie. Microcystin grows from algae nourished by chemical fertilizer phosphorus runoff from factory farms, other agricultural operations, leaky septic systems and lawn fertilizers.  The phosphorus-fed algae blooms turn the water a pea-green color. Drinking it can cause diarrhea, vomiting and liver-function problems, and has been found deadly to dogs and other small animals. On Monday the Toledo Blade reported that months before the area’s algae crisis, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency had considered a take-over of the 73-year old Collins Water Treatment Plant because of its years-long failure to tackle major maintenance repairs, including leaky valves at key raw water sites.

“A week earlier, the Blade editorial staff called for a legislative crackdown on those who refuse to take responsibility for the messes they have created.  That same day, Food and Water Watch, a Washington-based consumer group, revealed that legislation around a fertilizer certification program by Ohio lawmakers exempts manure, and ‘includes a voluntary, no mandatory, nutrient management plan program’ to address the problem. The New York Times also reported that water reform efforts at the national level had stalled in Congress, ‘largely from Republicans who see it as infringing upon private rights and a threat to farmers.’  The Blade predicted that without strong laws, Toledo residents eventually would need to depend upon lifetime supplies of bottled water. So what happens when similar pollution takes over the world, and we run out of clean water to send to the bottling plants?”

(From National Catholic Reporter, Aug. 12, 2014)

EPA Pressured to Protect Bees from Toxic Pesticides: “As bee colonies continue to collapse nationwide at an alarming rate, NRDC is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to take swift action concerning the use of pesticides that scientists increasingly say are among the prime culprits behind the devastating loss of bees.  In an emergency petition filed with the agency, we’re pressuring the EPA to stop delaying and to start taking a hard look at neonicotinoids, or ‘neonics’ – a class of pesticide that remains in widespread use despite mounting scientific evidence that these toxic chemicals are a significant factor behind the decimation of bee populations across the country. It is difficult to overstate the importance of bees, both in the natural environment and in maintaining our diverse food supply.  Not only do bees pollinate countless wild plants that produce food for animals ranging from songbirds to grizzly bears, but they pollinate 71 of the 100 crops that make up 90 percent of what we eat, such as apples, strawberries, carrots and broccoli.  One out of every three bites of food we take depends on bees.

“Yet bees are in crisis. As scientists struggle to solve the mystery of what’s causing bees to die off in massive numbers across the country, they’ve focused on neonics, which over the past decade have surged to become the most widely used insecticides in the world. A study released in May from the Harvard School of Public Health confirmed the results of previous studies, finding that even at sublethal doses, exposure to certain neonics appears to cause bee colonies to collapse over the winter.  In the study, half of the colonies that were fed neonics in October died by spring, compared with just one control colony out of six. …The European Union recently adopted a two-year ban on neonics, but the EPA has stubbornly dragged its feet on the issue, by all appearances failing to take into account the scientific evidence we already have regarding the harmful impact of neonics on bees instead saying it wants until 2019 to complete a review of neonic use.”

(From Nature’s Voice, Natural Resources Defense Council, Summer 2014)

Pope Appeals for Peace in Iraq: “Pope Francis condemned the actions of Islamic State militants in Iraq, saying that persecuting Christians and other minorities ‘seriously offends God and seriously offends humanity. One cannot generate hatred in God’s name,’ he said Sunday. ‘One cannot make war in God’s name!’ After reciting the Angelus, Pope Francis asked tens of thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square to join him for a moment of silent prayer for peace in Iraq and for the tens of thousands of people forced from their homes in northeastern Iraq as fighters from the Islamic State tried to increase the territory under their control. ‘The news from Iraq leaves us incredulous and appalled,’ Pope Francis said. ‘Thousands of people, including many Christians, have been chased from their homes in a brutal way; children die of thirst and hunger during the flight; women are kidnapped; people are massacred; violence of every kind; destruction everywhere.’ …

“At the Angelus, he also called on the international community and Iraq’s beleaguered government to ‘stop these crimes’ and reestablish law and order. …The U.S. military began airstrikes Friday against the Islamic State as well as airdrops of food and water for Iraqis forced to flee their homes.  Vatican Radio asked Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the Vatican nuncio to Iraq, about the U.S. airstrikes. ‘This is something that had to be done, otherwise [the Islamic State] could not be stopped,’ the archbishop said. ‘But, we should wonder why we have arrived at this point: Was it not a lack of intelligence? Were we not able to understand what was going on? And then: who gave these [Islamic State fighters] such sophisticated weapons?”

(From National Catholic Reporter, Aug. 11, 2014)

California Bishops On Border Crisis: “Two weeks after protestors in Murrieta, Calif., made national news by attempting to prevent busloads of mostly unaccompanied children from reaching an emergency detention facility, the bishops of California have issued a statement calling on Catholics to support these refugees. ‘These children and families have journeyed to our country, fleeing violence and destitution in Central America.  Sadly their experience in California has thus far been marked by hostility and near chaos. …In this critical moment, Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan reminds us of what we are called to do.’  Writing in the Los Angeles diocesan newspaper The Tidings, Archbishop Jose Gomez asked Catholics to try to appreciate the situation of the children crossing the border. ‘No matter how they got here, no matter how frustrated we are with our government, we can’t forget that these are children of God who are also just kids. …[They are] innocent children who are lonely and frightened and far from home, caught up in circumstances they did not create and they cannot control.’”

(From America, Aug. 4-11, 2014)

Between Iraq and a Hard Place: “The deepening crisis gripping Iraq is a clear and present danger to global security.  The crisis is fundamentally political in nature, however, not military. It cannot be resolved through the use of force, least of all by external military action from the United States.  In the past, U.S. intervention has been the problem in Iraq, not the solution.  Indeed many of Iraq’s current problems can be traced to the consequences of the U.S. invasion and occupation. The United States now has a responsibility to help the Iraqi people, having contributed so much to their current travails, but our involvement should be diplomatic and humanitarian, not military.  We should work through the United Nations to exert pressure on the violent extremists who are threatening the region and to mobilize international support for political and diplomatic solutions to the conflicts.

“A major center of concern today is the extremist group called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, now identifying as the Islamic State.  This group led the military takeover of Mosul and other Iraqi cities.  It is a direct offshoot of the al Qaeda forces that emerged during the armed resistance to the U.S. invasion, but is now a rival to, and even more extreme than, al Qaeda. Prior to 2003, al Qaeda did not exist in Iraq. …Rather than taking unilateral military action, the United States should take this crisis to the U.N. and work with other nations to seek a global response. …U.N. engagement will not magically resolve the deep crises afflicting Iraq, Syria, and the region.  More concerted multilateral action can help, however, and at a minimum can heighten global involvement and help to broaden the global alliance against the Islamic State. There is nothing to lose, and perhaps much to be gained, by bringing this crisis to the U.N. The time to act is now, before the fire becomes a regional conflagration.”

(From Sojourners, September-October 2014)

Equality Necessary for Peace between Israel, Palestine: “More than 1,900 people have died in Gaza as of Aug. 6.  Add to that thousands injured, vital infrastructure and apartment buildings destroyed, and 1.8 million Palestinians trapped in an area the size of Manhattan with nowhere to run from the death raining on them from the skies.  On the Israeli side, the death toll stands at 67. Every innocent death, Israeli or Palestinian, is one too many.  All the same, the world has gotten inured to Israeli tactics of massive and disproportionate response to acts of violence.  The stubborn, feckless resistance of Hamas gives the Israelis apparent cause for their indiscriminate strikes.  Palestinian suffering has become routine.  As a result, the international community heaves a collective shrug when they hear about Palestinian deaths. …

“Only negotiations in which the two sides meet as equals, as other insurgents have with their onetime rulers, will lay the foundations of a lasting peace.  Equality at the negotiating table will be the first step toward uprooting the anti-Palestinian prejudice at the root of the conflict.  As long as potential conciliators, like U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, accept the Israeli premise that everything must be negotiated without preconditions, neglecting the limits set down by international law and prior agreements, there will be no equality at the negotiating table and no just peace.  Preserving the inequality between the two sides guarantees a future of violence and unrest.”

(From National Catholic Reporter, Aug. 15-28, 2014)

SJB Friars Commit to Eco-Friendly Practices: At their Chapter in May 2014, the Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province passed the following proposal:

“We commit to increasing our personal and communal efforts regarding environmentally-friendly practices so as to promote, in concrete ways, more sustainable lifestyles. Each friary will choose and commit to at least two practices, either from the provided list or another source, and share these with the JPIC Office by October 2014. The JPIC Office will monitor this initiative and annually report its findings to the Province at large.”

SJB Friars Commit to Refugees, Migrants and Victims of Human Trafficking: The Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province based in Cincinnati, Ohio, held their 2008 Chapter at St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana May 19-23. Of the many proposals passed, the Chapter delegates affirmed a resolution to learn more about the issues of migrants, refugees and victims of human trafficking in order to better be able to respond to their needs. The resolution says:
 “We, the Franciscans of St. John the Baptist Province, commit ourselves to increase our awareness of issues surrounding refugees, migrants and victims of human trafficking in order to develop more proactive Franciscan responses on the provincial, friary and personal level.”
SJB Friars Commit to Non-violence: The Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province based in Cincinnati, Ohio, held their 2005 Chapter at the University of Dayton, May 23-27. Among the many proposals that were passed, the Chapter delegates affirmed a resolution introduced by their JPIC Office in which they committed themselves to “continued conversion to a life of Franciscan non-violence in support of a consistent ethic of life.” The complete resolution follows.
“As Franciscans, we affirm the sacredness of all human life and the inherent value of all creation. In a world where violence is rampant, we wish to be a sign of hope, actively promoting the preservation of life, peace among people and nations, justice for all and reconciliation. We commit ourselves to continued conversion to a life of Franciscan non-violence in support of a consistent ethic of life.”