Working together for the world
Cecily McNeill |
29 June 2018
The plight of 12 teenagers and their football coach trapped in a vast underground cave system in northern Thailand has gripped the world’s imagination. A huge sigh of relief lifted spirits around the globe when news came that they had been found. In the nine days since they went missing, searchers had gone from Britain, the United States, China and Australia but it was a group of Thai navy seals who finally reached the boys and, it seems, will be tasked with leading them on the treacherous journey to safety with the support of the international team.
Leaving aside questions of the folly of going into the caves so close to the monsoon season, this kind of rescue shows so clearly the goodness of people everywhere when they come together and pool resources.
This working together for the common good is shown on myriad occasions in the gospels, most notably when Jesus fed the multitudes. The human response to the need of others is to reach out to them, be they underground in Thailand, torn from their parents on the Mexican border or behind barbed wire in the Northern Territory.
This month, FDJ News focuses on calls to protect the environment from increasing degradation. There are calls to stop the Adani coal mine from drawing precious water from drought-stricken Queensland while federal resources minister Matt Canavan says "we'd be mad not to mine the Galilee basin", reports that the Paris Agreement’s limit of 2C global warming may not be restrictive enough, that even the current 1.5C may be too much warming for the planet. There is frustration over the short-sighted inaction of governments in currying favour with the rich and powerful – the Adani saga is a case in point, as is Pat Baskett’s illumination of the farming conglomerate in New Zealand’s Mackenzie Country – dry, high-country land patently unsuited to dairy farming.
Just as a collective effort is rushing to the side of the trapped young Thai footballers, so must people the world over act together to halt further degradation of the planet. Alone we can do nothing, but where two or three are gathered together in pursuit of justice, transformation can come.
Cecily McNeill | 06 June 2018
The environment is more in jeopardy than first thought - a new report out of China suggests the Paris Agreement's 2°C increase in the earth's temperature on pre-industrial levels will soon be swamped with projections it will rise to double this figure before the end of the 21st century.
Cecily McNeill | 10 May 2018
May kicks off with International Workers’ Day on the feast of St Joseph the Worker, an important anniversary in Catholic Social Teaching which started with Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum in 1891 on the condition of the working classes.
Cecily McNeill | 01 April 2018
Two stories of indigenous life on either side of the Tasman show how institutional racism works to maintain oppression, something Pope Francis rails against in Laudato Si’. The 2015 encyclical does not use the word “racism” but it is implied, as Sr Karen Donahue suggests, in the Pope’s critique of the neo-liberal economic system which fails to take account of its impact on humanity and the environment. See for example, LS #56.
| 30 November 2017
In myriad ways poverty challenges us daily, in faces marked by suffering, marginalization, oppression, violence, torture and imprisonment, war, deprivation of freedom and dignity, ignorance and illiteracy, medical emergencies and shortage of work, trafficking and slavery, exile, extreme poverty and forced migration.
Cecily McNeill | 30 November 2017
Pope Francis has designated November 19 as World Day of the Poor. This focus echoes throughout Australia and the Pacific for there are few poorer in this region that those refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island, where essential services were switched off at the end of last month.