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Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Jesuits take campaign to heart of EU
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¬†Today, the British Jesuits and their co-workers are having a historic meeting with the President of the EU Commission, Josť Manuel Barroso. Fr Frank Turner SJ, representing the Jesuits, along with the head of the Campaigns at CAFOD, Alison Marshall, and Ben Ramsden and Philip Udeh from Jesuit Missions will meet with President Barroso to urge him to take action to make poverty history. The meeting will take place at the London School of Economics, where President Barroso will give a lecture that morning. The meeting follows the lobbying of Mr Barroso as part of the Jesuit Day of Prayer and Action held on Pentecost Sunday (15 May) and World Debt Day (16 May). This day saw 50,000 people across 14 countries and four continents taking action in unity to Make Poverty History. Jesuit students, parishioners and co-workers in other Jesuit works wrote letters to the EU Commission President, asking him to use his influence on the G8 leaders and within the European Union to make sure that bold action is taken on poverty eradication. According to Fr Turner, Mr Barroso can make an impact when the UK takes over Presidency of the EU in July. "The key areas we are asking him to act on are Trade Justice and More and Better Aid," he says. "We'll be presenting him with a copy of the Make Poverty History Manifesto on the UK's Presidency of the EU. He will also be presented with a special album containing very personal messages from the Jesuit community within the UK and beyond. This will include pictures of Jesuit Day of Prayer and Action campaign events, messages from parishioners, and drawings from Jesuit primary school pupils." Frank Turner SJ who will take up office in June as the Director of OCIPE (the Catholic European Study and Information Centre based in Brussels) continues: "It is important that the Jesuits, as a key part of Catholic constituency in the UK, can communicate the moral imperative for Mr Barroso to take immediate action on the issues of Trade and Aid. The Jesuits have seen first hand the tragedy of poverty through hundreds of years of mission work. We can no longer be a silent witness to the continuing deaths of people in poor countries through man-made poverty." Source: Jesuit Communications Office
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