Passionists participate at the United Nations
THE PASSIONIST GENERAL CHAPTER in Brazil in September 2002, called for members of the Passionist family throughout the world to consider participation in the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organization. Father Ottaviano D'Egidio, Passionist Superior General, appointed Father Kevin Dance, C.P. to pursue the goal. In a letter addressed to members of the Passionist family worldwide, Father Ottaviano summed up the reasons for the move:
"Unfortunately, in recent years, globalization has resulted in enormous changes in social relationships and in the world's patterns of life and culture. We have problems that are planetary: environmental pollution, the constant increase in the world's poorest, emigration, the violations of human rights, especially for women and children. Right: Father Ottaviano D'Egidio, Passionist Superior General
"Given these situations, which annihilate people's hopes, and which seem to reduce everything to economic issues, what should our stance be? We must join with the Church in directing our energies towards a globalization of solidarity and of the hopes that do not marginalize the poor. This is why we have decided to add the congregation to the Non-Governmental Organizations at the United Nations according to Recommendation 5.5b from our General Chapter.
"Through the Synod of Bishops of 1970, the Church invited us to make the struggle for justice an integral part of the preaching of the gospel. In various parts of the world numerous members of the Passionist Family are deeply involved in this ministry, but the work they do for the poor and the suffering is often impeded by international structures of injustice. To be effective they need the help and support of the international community.
"The religious of other congregations already enrolled at the United Nations as NGOs have recognized that this ministry has proved fruitful in sustaining their own brothers and sisters who struggle in this field helping victims of injustice. For example, observers have maintained that the desperate struggle of the Asian people of East Timor against genocide cannot be concluded well without the accurate information transmitted by religious who are present at the UN."
Fr. Ottaviano D'Egidio, C.P. Rome
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