Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor this week called for a day of prayer and fasting this Friday, September 19 in support of next week's United Nations Summit on the Millennium Development Goals.
The UN Summit on 25 September will review progress and renew commitments to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The Summit also aims to set out concrete plans and practical steps for action.
Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor called on the Catholic community to join in a day of prayer and fasting to focus attention on the need for greater progress to be made on the promises made in 2000 to help the World's poorest and most disadvantaged people. The call to prayer and fast is being made in collaboration with the Bishop of London Richard Chartres and other London faith leaders.
The Cardinal said: "Earlier this year I was greatly moved in Southern Africa at the scale of the poverty, sickness and disease that so may people endure. Much of this suffering could be alleviated.
"We must continue to put pressure on those in power to help end poverty across the world. We are not currently on track to meet our commitments, but promises made by governments must be kept. We have the means to achieve the MDGs we need the will.
"While the Church is at the forefront of working with those who suffer, this is a challenge for the entire international community. Collectively we must not fail to face up to the responsibility that we bear for the well-being of humankind."