Jesuit Archbishop in Peru Receives Death Threats:
Jesuit Archbishop Pedro Baretto (Huancayo, Peru) has received death threats for his recent statement calling for responsible environmental regulation of a multi-metallic smelter in La Oroya. The smelter has been operated by Doe Run Peru a subsidiary of Renco Group (US privately held company) and was forced to shut down in 2009 after pressure from Church leaders. Recently there have been moves to re-open the operation without necessary environmental improvements, which prompted a letter from Archbishop Baretto and the ensuing threat.
Context: La Oroya is one of the 10 most polluted places on earth and a St. Louis University public health study found that 90% of children living there have excessive levels of lead. Abp. Baretto will be Washington, DC later this month for two World Bank meetings and a conversation with faith leaders. Jesuit Conference secretary for social and international ministry, Tom Greene, SJ, will also meet with him. Additional Resources/Links:
- Story by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Justice and Peace
- Analysis by Presbyterian Council
- Dispatch from Jesuit Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat
- Solidarity statement from Jesuit Social Center Centro Loyola Ayacucho. Click here for Spanish and English is now translated and available on request.
- Abp. Baretto’s Declaration (in English) – Death threats came two days later.
Environmental Education and Catholic Religious Education:
Exploring a Synthesis of Organizing Concepts, Standards and Best Practices is the title of a new special report prepared with support from the Jesuit Social and Pastoral Ministries Research Grant Program. The research report was commissioned by small grants from the Jesuit Commission for Social and International Ministries and The Congregation of Notre Dame and prepared by the interfaith ecology group Greenfaith. It is designed to be a practical resource for environmental education and sustainability practices with references drawing from Catholic sources and principles. Contact John Sealey for pdf of the report.
Jesuits and Religious leaders call for a Faithful Budget:
(March 22) The Jesuit Conference joined religious leaders and faith-based organizations unveiling a “Faithful Budget” proposal for congressional consideration. The Priorities for a Faithful Budget is a set of comprehensive budget principles that will protect the common good, value each individual and help lift the burden on the poor. Read The Faithful Budget in its entirety.
Eastern Africa welcomes 16 New Novices:
AOR Provincial Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, S.J., has announced the acceptance of new novices to the Gonzaga Gonza Novitiate in Arusha. Countries of origin include: 9 Kenya, 3 Uganda, 2 Tanzania, 1 Ethiopia, 1 South Sudan. (AOR News April 13, 2012)
USCCB President Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Gomez, who chairs the Committee on
Migration, sent a letter dated March 22 urging House Speaker John Boehner to “build consensus” on immigration reform.
Lamar Smith, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, chaired hearings on March 28 regarding the new guidelines for immigration detention. The title of the hearing, “Holiday on ICE,” seems to moc the more humane treatment undocumented immigrants should now receive. See Detention Watch Network’s press release (DWN was created by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network in 1997).
The USCCB and several other Christian denominations filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Arizona vs. United States, supporting the principle that the federal government controls the enactment and implementation of the nation’s immigration laws.
On April 20, PBS’s “Need to Know” program will air a half hour segment on the excessive use of deadly force by Customs and Border Protection.