Church Marks Anniversary of Human Rights Declaration

HNP Communications Franciscan World

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In December, the Catholic Church marked the 60th anniversary of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document, issued on Dec. 10, 1948, responded to the atrocities committed against millions of people in World War II. 

One parish that marked the occasion was the parish of the Most Holy Crucifix in Milazzo, Sicily. It collaborated with the Piccola Orchestra Musicando (Children’s Orchestra) for an evening of reflection and fellowship on Dec. 7.

A report of the event was published in the January ‘09 issue of Contact, the newsletter of the OFM International Council for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation in Rome. 

During the musical presentation, passages from the declaration were projected, with slides related to various themes.

The newsletter said that Friar Graziano Bruno was recently assigned to the Most Holy Crucifix, and that the parish will continue to explore important themes like this one. “They are fundamental to help remind ourselves how we are all human beings, Christians, brothers and sisters,” the newsletter said. 

News from the JPIC Project in Spain

The Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office in Rome also announced a two-year project to raise awareness for JPIC and to help animate more friars in the Province of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. 

Goals for the project, which is under way until 2010, include:
• Distributing the Contact newsletter more widely
• Updating the JPIC section of the Web site more regularly
• Sending out homilies prepared by the Pontifical Council
• Inform more friars about solidarity campaigns

Romans VI Meet
On Dec. 12, the JPIC directors of the six branches of the Franciscans met at the OFM General Curia. 

Called the Romans VI, the group meets about every three months to collaborate on JPIC issues. In December, they discussed:

• The booklet on ecology prepared by JPIC promoters
• Preparation and planning of the Anthonianum in April 
• The relationship between Franciscans International and the Romans VI
• Support of the JPIC office in Kenya
• The World Social Forum in Brazil
• Establishment of a JPIC database

Franciscans International Condemn Gaza Violence
Franciscans International announced that it was appalled by the recent events in Gaza and Southern Israel, and called on the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the United States, the Russian Federation and all concerned parties to pressure both sides for an immediate ceasefire.

“The escalation of violence has completely disregarded the most basic principles of International Humanitarian Law leading to the present humanitarian tragedy,” said the statement, as reported in Contact. “We call on the government of Israel to allow full access to Gaza for humanitarian agencies, and the lifting of the blockade.”