Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Poverty, immigration and more

Catholic News Service reports on a meeting of Dominican provincials from Latin America and the Caribbean.
From his vantage point 170 miles south of the U.S. border, Bishop Raul Vera Lopez of Saltillo, Mexico, sees the people who pass through his diocese on their way to seek work in the United States as testimony to decades of failed economic policy in Latin America.

The migrants from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and places like the southern Mexican region of Chiapas, where the bishop worked in the 1990s, are victims of "a deliberately exclusive economy that makes an option for big business and excludes everyone else," he said.

"It is no longer a matter of marginalizing them -- it's exclusion," he said.
. . .
Commitment to the poor is deeply rooted in Dominican tradition. In 1511, in what is now the Dominican Republic, a group of 14 friars signed their names to a homily protesting the Spanish colonists' inhumane treatment of the native people.

That protest could easily be made today, said Father Brian Pierce, whose job as "promoter of the Dominican family" takes him around the region to listen to friars, sisters and laypeople and to encourage them to collaborate in their ministries.

"We live in a world where people purposely turn away. We put walls up around poor neighborhoods. We don't listen to the cry of the poor," Father Pierce said. "One of the powerful challenges for us today is to have the courage to say, 'You aren't seeing, you aren't hearing,' to governments that talk about how (the) gross national product has soared this year," when so many people still live in poverty.

The entire article is here.