United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on world leaders to attend a summit in New York next week, to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, aimed at halving world poverty by 2015. Newly appointed Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, will be attending.
In the meantime, some good news from Britain today with these comments from British PM David Cameron in an article regarding the Pope’s visit:
‘The Holy See is a partner in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, which will be discussed at United Nations headquarters in New York again next week. For our part, we are totally committed to meeting the UN target of spending 0.7 per cent of our national income on aid by 2013. And we want to ensure that the money we spend goes to those who need it most. Sustainable economic development is closely linked to political stability and security. A world in which there is a yawning gap between the rich and the poor will be more dangerous and less secure for all of us.’
Come on Jules and Kev, don’t let the Brits get the jump on us!
Meanwhile in the same article, which touches on the beatification of Cardinal Newman while the Pope is in the UK, David Cameron says:
‘Cardinal Newman once said that one little deed, whether by someone who helps “to relieve the sick and needy” or someone who “forgives an enemy” evidences more true faith than could be shown by “the most fluent religious conversation” or “the most intimate knowledge of scripture”.’
With critics claiming the Pope’s reputation has been shipwrecked by his inaction over the clerical abuse of children, His Holiness visited Malta last weekend to commemorate the 1950th anniversary of the Apostle Paul’s shipwreck near the island, an event recorded in the book of Acts.
Interestingly, the two issues came together on Malta when the Pope met with eight Maltese men, victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Pope Benedict promised them with tears in his eyes that the Catholic Church would seek justice for paedophile priests and implement ‘effective measures’ to protect young people from abuse.
Benedict expressed his ‘shame and sorrow’ at the pain the men and their families suffered and prayed with them during the meeting at the Vatican’s embassy in Malta.
One of the men described the meeting as ‘fantastic’. ‘Everyone was crying,’ he said. It is the first time Benedict has met with abuse victims since the worldwide clerical abuse scandal engulfed the Vatican earlier this year.
While this meeting had not been foreshadowed by the Pope, he gave three other powerfully relevant reasons for his visit to Malta.
Pope arrest plans, church championing hate, trusting God safe again and league star driven to thanks…A God’s-eye overview of some of the madness, mayhem and moments of clarity involving issues of faith in our world currently.