Spain, Czech Republic, Finland

Spain: document demands “a job for a living” Spanish movements for labour belonging to Catholic Action Hoac (Hermandad Obrera de Acción Católica, Labour Fraternity of Catholic Action) and JOC (Juventud Obrera Católica, Catholic Labour Youth) released a joint statement in which they advocate the need to promote jobs that will ensure a dignified and full life to all people and families, and highlight the need to bring the joy of the Gospel also in the workplace. The declaration is supported by Catholic Action general, CONFER, Caritas Spain, Forum of the laity, Frater Spain, Catholic Students, Rural Christian Movement, Christian professionals and Labour Fraternity. “We are living in the midst of a reality that has suffered and continues suffering deep transformations in all areas of human life. One of these is the way of understanding and organizing human work. The ways in which work is organized today is not compatible with the dignified life we aspire to”. In fact, “having a job, having a salary high enough to live on, carrying out work in a dignified manner are conditions that make it possible – or prevent if absent – human growth and development”. The statement contains a set of worrying figures on Spain: over 5.6 million unemployed in the 2nd semester of 2014, over 1 million 300 thousand households where no family member receives a salary, the fact that it is possible to work and remain poor, the reforms of employment that contributed to the increase of precariousness, the drop in workers’ rights. “As a Church we cannot remain silent and passive when social conditions make it hard for human beings to live in conformity with human dignity – the Note points out -. Our concern for human life, especially for the poor in whom we see Jesus Christ, should make us concerned for working situations”. Czech Republic: pastoral care of the poor The Pastoral “style” of Pope Francis, the role of lay people in the Catholic Church, living and dying with dignity, recommendations on how to deepen the relationship with God at an old age: these themes will be addressed during the seventh National Assembly of Animators of Pastoral Care and Religious Formation of Old People. The event will take place in Hradec Kralove next October 24. “Not only the animators in activity but also all those who feel the vocation to commit themselves in the service in this specific sector, especially in parishes, in old-age homes, in social institutions. Older generations should be in contact with the younger ones, they must lead an active life, rich in experience and contacts”, said a coordinator in the national meeting. The event, featuring a wide array of conferences, prayer gatherings and cultural initiatives, is held under the auspices of the Cardinal Dominik Duka, archbishop of Prague. Finnish Churches: ecumenical initiative for peace The “Ecumenical Week on the responsibility of Peace”, an initiative that the Council of Finnish Church proposes since 1979 will take place October 19-26. The initiatives promoted for the occasion will focus on “The market of violence” along with the relationship between the use of natural resources and war. A sustainable management of “water, air, land, forest, flora and wild fauna, minerals and energy can play a crucial role in the prevention and solution of conflicts”, organizers explained, with an appeal to ensure that “the management of natural resources falls within international efforts for peace”. The initiative is aimed at promoting reflections on the fact that “international trade creates a market of products and natural resources that often support economies of war”. The invitation is to use raw materials and products of ethnical origin and ask companies for documents certifying that their products have no relations with war situations. “The Finnish population feel the responsibility of what they consume”. Sterlin L. Palacios, Catholic priest committed in the right of minorities in Colombia is a special guest of the event. Questionnaires will be distributed October 20 across malls and shops in Helsinki to identify the origin of the products on the market.

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