USCCB, CRS seek 1 million Catholics for global poverty initiative

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Catholics across a broad spectrum of the church are being mobilized in a renewed effort to fight global poverty. Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are seeking 1 million Catholics during the next two years to join an initiative designed to show that the difficulties Americans are facing during the current financial crisis are intricately intertwined with the plight of the poor around the world.

The effort, Catholics Confront Global Poverty, is tied to Pope Benedict XVI’s World Peace Day message of Jan. 1 in which he called for humanity to work toward greater human dignity through the promotion of peace and international aid that promotes human development, said Stephen Colecchi, director of the U.S. bishop’s Office of International Justice and Peace. “Our future is linked to theirs. Our security is linked to theirs. Our prosperity is linked to theirs,” Colecchi told a nationwide webcast Feb. 11.

Colecchi joined Bill O’Keefe, senior director in the advocacy department at CRS, in announcing the initiative, which will be launched during the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington Feb. 23.

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