The Summer 2019 issue of the Columban Social Justice newsletter Vocation for Justice is now available. It takes the general theme of ‘The world we want’, picking up on the link between climate justice and economic justice – two Columban JPIC priorities. Many countries in the global south continue to face a debt crisis, where debt is leading to human and environmental rights being denied. Columbans in Pakistan and Fiji report worsening climate disasters in the context of heavy indebtedness and Climate Change. The Climate Debt Spiral – highlighted by Jubilee Debt campaign – has led the Columbans to join those calling for a permanent debt relief process in response to climate change disasters.
Fr Peter Hughes, head of Columban JPIC and the Columban Director in Britain, writes in his editorial:
‘System Change, not Climate Change’ has appeared on many banners during youth climate protests. The Columbans have been addressing the crisis of Climate Change for many years in Vocation for Justice, and raising awareness. Pope Francis has urged us to listen to scientific experts in this area. And it is to be welcomed that on 1 May MPs passed a motion making the UK parliament the first in the world to declare an “environment and climate emergency”….. But what does the world we want look like? I have been inspired very much by the interest and action of our young people in the area of climate change and sustainability, especially recently.”
In the same issue, James Trewby, the Columban education worker, reports on his engagement with the youth-led climate strikes.
There are also articles on this October’s Amazonia Synod and CAFOD’s new campaign ‘Our Common Home’. “The Synod is an important moment for the voice of the Amazon and its peoples to be heard”, according to Fr Peter Hughes, an Irish Columban based in Peru who is involved in the process of the Synod. And CAFOD is inviting participation in the 26 June lobby of parliament on the climate crisis. Columbans will be there.
The issue also sees articles by Anna Joy Marshall and Jessy Oreoluwa Sodimu, the winner and runner up in the recent Columban Young Journalists’ Competition on ‘The Challenge of Climate Change’.