quarta-feira, 9 de dezembro de 2009



Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

segunda-feira, 21 de setembro de 2009

God is Love

We are loved
and we learn to love
when we are imitate God´s Loving
everlasting love
I love you with all my heart, o God
May my own love live forever

Ramadão di Portugal

Pada tgl. 20 September semua umat Islam merayakan Hari Lebaran.
Di Portugal merayakan di kediaman kedutaan Indonesia di Lisabon bagi semua yang berwarga Negara Indonesia yang berada di Portugal.
dari kedutaan mengundang para suster SSpS dan pastor SVD ~untuk menghadiri perayaan tersebut.
Boleh lihat di foto Pe. Feliks Kosat, SVD yang sementara berada di Portugal dan para suster SSpS, Sr. Maria Delia dan Ma. Mendes sempat menghadiri perayaan tersebut.
Di awal dibuka dengan doa dan diteruskan dengan makan bersama, semua turut berbahagia merayakan hari itu.
Moment untuk sharing dari iman dan kepercayaan yang berbeda-beda...
Selamat merayakan Idul Fitri bagi semua di mana sja yang berada

segunda-feira, 8 de junho de 2009

Surat Pernyataan KWI-Capres dan Cawapres RI


Surat Pernyataan KWI kepada Capres dan CawapresNo. : 085/II/2009 Jakarta, 30 Mei 2009

Kepada Yang TerhormatPara Calon Presiden dan Calon Wakil PresidenRepublik IndonesiaDengan hormat,

Pertama-tama kami ucapkan selamat kepada saudara-saudari calon presiden dan calon wakil presiden Republik Indonesia, atas keberhasilan saudara-saudari sampai pada sebuah tahap yang sangat penting dalam proses penentuan untuk menjadi presiden dan wakil presiden. Presiden dan wakil presiden terpilih merupakan sebuah kedudukan dan jabatan yang sangat menentukan hidup bersama warga negara Republik Indonesia yang kita cintai ini.

Kalau negara Indonesia ini diibaratkan sebuah bahtera, presiden dan wakil presiden adalah nahkodanya. Siapa pun yang terpilih menjadi nahkoda merupakan orang-orang yang bertanggung jawab untuk membawa bahtera itu dalam mengarungi lautan zaman.

Untuk itu pikiran jernih, kehendak baik dan tindakan-tindakan terorganisir rapi demi kesejahteraan seluruh bangsa merupakan unsur –unsur yang hendaknya terus dikembangkan.Kami, seperti juga teman-teman lain, menengarai adanya batu-batu karang yang membahayakan perjalanan negara kita dalam mencatat sejarah. Inilah yang kami mohonkan agar mendapat perhatian khusus dan dipergunakan sebagai alat untuk mengukur diri, apakah saudara-saudari pantas menduduki jabatan sebagai presiden dan wakil presiden.

Batu-batu karang yang mengancam bangsa Indonesia ini memang bukan temuan kami sendiri. Kami mengalaminya secara langsung karena sebagai Jemaat kami hidup di dalam masyarakat; kami adalah bagian yang tidak terpisahkan dari warga bangsa. Tentu saudara-saudari pernah menghadapinya sendiri ketika memegang jabatan penting di pemerintahan selama ini.1)

Pengabaian Pilar-Pilar Bangsa: Pancasila, Undang-Undang Dasar 1945, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika dan Negara Kesatuan Republik IndonesiaPancasila, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika dan Undang-Undang Dasar 1945 merupakan pemersatu bangsa yang kita banggakan. Itu merupakan pilar penopang rumah bersama yang kita huni ini, yaitu Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia (NKRI). Selama ini pilar-pilar tersebut digerogoti seperti tiang rumah dimakan rayap. Dari luar masih kelihatan utuh, tetapi berkali-kali dirusak sendiri bahkan perusakan itu dipelopori oleh mereka yang diharapkan untuk mempertahankannya. Sumpah jabatan presiden dan wakil presiden hendaknya juga dimaknai sebagai sumpah setia kepada Pancasila, Undang-Undang Dasar 1945, keutuhan Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia dan kebhinnekaan Indonesia.2)

Pendidikan yang Tidak MencerdaskanPendidikan yang bermutu dan merata bagi setiap warga negara Indonesia akan memenuhi cita-cita bangsa Indonesia untuk mencerdaskan bangsa Indonesia. Sekarang ini kita memerlukan perbaikan sistem pendidikan kita. Pemerintahan di bawah masa jabatan saudara-saudari hendaknya dengan jelas mengusahakan pendidikan yang bermutu bagi semua warga bangsa Indonesia. Selama biaya pendidikan begitu mahal apalagi bermutu rendah maka masa depan bangsa Indonesia berada dalam bahaya pembodohan massal. Bahaya itu semakin mengancam kita, karena majunya pendidikan di negeri-negeri lain. Generasi muda bangsa-bangsa lain maju dengan pesat karena didukung oleh sistem pendidikan yang baik dan generasi muda kita akan tertinggal semakin jauh.Untuk lebih meningkatkan mutu pendidikan nasional, sebaiknya pemerintah memberikan kebebasan dan dukungan kepada lembaga-lembaga pendidikan swasta yang selama ini sudah berjasa membantu pemerintah dalam mencerdaskan bangsa. Peran aktif lembaga-lembaga pendidikan swasta ini sebaiknya difasilitasi dan dijamin kebebasannya untuk ikut menentukan sistem pendidikan nasional dan bukan membatasi ruang gerak lembaga-lembaga itu dalam berperan aktif mencerdaskan bangsa.3)

Lemahnya Penegakan HukumSebagai negara hukum, Republik Indonesia perlu meningkatkan kredibilitasnya. Dalam agenda kerjanya hendaknya pemerintah segera memberikan prioritas untuk menjamin adanya kepastian hukum yang bertujuan untuk memberantas korupsi, kolusi, nepotisme, premanisme dan melindungi hak-hak sipil, politik, ekonomi, budaya, serta menindak pelanggaran Hak-Hak Asasi Manusia.Mengingat besarnya bahaya korupsi presiden dan wakil presiden terpilih hendaknya tetap mempertahankan dan memperbaiki mekanisme dan sistem kerja pengadilan khusus.
Hendaknya presiden dan wakil presiden terpilih dengan tegas memberantas tindakan-tindakan anarkis, main hakim sendiri dengan cara-cara brutal dan premanisme. Bila itu terjadi maka kita boleh mengharapkan kestabilan ekonomi, politik, hukum dan pada akhirnya warga negara akan merasa aman.Negara Republik Indonesia menjamin setiap hak asasi warga negaranya tanpa membedakan latar belakang ekonomi, politik, agama, etnis dan gender. Buruh dan perem- puan memiliki hak asasi yang sama dengan warga negara Indonesia lainnya.

Bila hak mereka dilindungi maka mereka tidak harus meninggalkan tanah air dan keluarganya untuk menanggung aib karena pekerjaan yang dilakukan dan perlakuan dari majikannya tak beda dengan perbudakan, yaitu perbudakan modern. Presiden dan wakil presiden terpilih hendaknya segera dengan nyata menunjukkan usaha dalam melindungi hak-hak asasi buruh dan perempuan.4) Perusakan Lingkungan hidupLingkungan hidup kita sedang menuju kehancuran. Sudah menjadi pengetahuan umum, bahwa selama beberapa dasa warsa ini setiap tahun hutan-hutan Indonesia, berjuta-juta hektar, mengalami perusakan sehingga tak dapat dipulihkan kembali. Perusakan lingkungan yang berkepanjangan akhirnya merupakan tindakan yang melanggar hak hidup seluruh ciptaan. Lingkungan yang rusak adalah tanda yang jelas kerusakan bangsa kita.5)

Kesenjangan Tingkat KesejahteraanPara pendiri bangsa Indonesia memaknai sila kelima Pancasila, “Keadilan sosial bagi seluruh rakyat Indonesia” sebagai kesejahteraan lahir batin bagi seluruh warga secara merata. Sampai sekarang jurang kaya dan miskin di negeri kita tidak dapat disembunyikan lagi. Mengapa terjadi demikian? Ada banyak faktor menjadi sebab adanya jurang kaya dan miskin itu. Salah satu faktor yang menentukan adalah tidak adanya kehendak kuat dari pemerintah untuk mencabut akar-akar kemiskinan itu sendiri. Pemerintah terpilih harus mampu membangun ekonomi yang sejak semula mengembangkan potensi ekonomi rakyat yang juga tangguh dalam pergumulan ekonomi dunia.Kemiskinan yang mencolok mata dan berakibat langsung bagi generasi muda bangsa Indonesia adalah busung lapar. Negeri yang pernah mendapat gelar sebagai negeri yang kaya akan sumber daya alam dan subur ini sekarang harus menjadi saksi busung lapar bagi anak-anak bangsanya. Busung lapar hanya menjanjikan generasi yang hilang.

Tubuh dan otak mereka tidak tumbuh dan tidak berkembang. Mereka diam-diam merintih karena tidak memiliki suara lagi untuk mendesahkan deritanya. Pemerintah yang baru harusnya sudah akan menilai dirinya gagal bila tidak sejak awal membuat program yang jelas untuk mengatasi masalah ini.6)

Penyalahgunaan Simbol AgamaKekuatan bangsa Indonesia ada pada kebhinnekaan agama, keyakinan, budaya dan etnis. Agama dan kepercayaan merupakan kekuatan bangsa Indonesia dalam menghadapi berbagai krisis. Rakyat masih bertahan hidup meskipun di dalam kemiskinan dan kesulitan, karena masih beriman kepada Yang Maha Kuasa. Tetapi betul-betul sangat disayangkan bahwa agama kerap dipergunakan untuk tujuan di luar makna dan peran agama itu sendiri. Agama yang memiliki nilai universal yang mengungkapkan keluhuran Ilahi dan kemuliaan manusia, dipergunakan sebagai alat untuk membedakan dan menindas kelompok lainnya. Perbedaan dalam pemahaman akan keyakinan dalam suatu agama tidak digunakan untuk saling memperkaya satu dengan lainnya tetapi perbedaan itu digunakan untuk dipertentangkan.

Hal itu terjadi di negeri kita, antara lain dengan membuat peraturan perundang-undangan yang berdasarkan pada aturan satu agama.Demikianlah batu-batu karang yang mengancam berhasilnya perjalanan bangsa dan Negara Indonesia dalam mengarungi sejarahnya. Sebagai akhir kata, bersama ini kami sampaikan daftar 151 peraturan daerah yang dikenal sebagai peraturan yang bertentangan dengan Pancasila. Peraturan-peraturan daerah itu bagaikan puncak karang yang secara kasat mata menghadang bahtera bangsa kita. Untuk menjaga keutuhan negara kesatuan Republik Indonesia, kami menganjurkan kepada presiden dan wakil presiden terpilih untuk membatalkan 151 peraturan daerah ini dan yang semacamnya, serta tidak pernah akan mengesahkan peraturan perundang-undangan yang bertentangan dengan konstitusi Republik Indonesia.Saudara-saudari calon presiden dan calon wakil presiden, demikianlah seruan kami ketika kami sedang bersama rakyat negeri ini menimbang-nimbang siapakah yang akan kami pilih sebagai pemimpin negeri ini.Besar harapan kami bahwa seruan ini mendapatkan perhatian, karena kami melihat dan mengalami bahwa pemimpin yang baik merupakan syarat mutlak bagi keutuhan Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia (NKRI) yang kita cintai bersama.Bagi siapa saja yang nanti mendapat kepercayaan rakyat untuk menjadi presiden dan wakil presiden, kami ucapkan selamat bekerja dan kami menyediakan diri untuk bekerjasama dalam mengusahakan kesejahteraan bersama.

Teriring salam dan hormat kami,KONFERENSI WALIGEREJA INDONESIA,Mgr. Martinus D. Situmorang, OFM.Cap. Mgr. A.M. Sutrisnaatmaka, M.S.F.K e t u a Sekretaris Jenderal[*] Surat pernyataan KWI ini disebarluaskan serta judul ini diberikan oleh Sekretariat

JPIC SVD-SSpS Propinsi Jawa

segunda-feira, 1 de junho de 2009

Di pihak manakah kita harus berpijak?

Di tengah-tengah dunia ini tetap meraja ketidakadilan terhadap mereka yang tidak berkuasa atas apapun.
Semua orang yang berkuasa senantiasa mencari yang terbaik bagi diri-sendiri. Ingin memiliki segala-galanya dan lupa orang-orang kecil yang menderita.

Di tengah-tengah situasi yang tidak adil ini, YESUS tetap berpihak bagi yang menderita. Dia datang untuk menyelamatkan dan memberi HIDUP bagi semua orang tampa kekecualian.

Lalu kita tetap bertanya, dimanakah kita harus berpihak?

sexta-feira, 29 de maio de 2009

Pernyataan Sikap Dikeluarkan di Hongkong

RUTENG, Timex - Sebanyak 134 misionaris dan biarawati asal pulau Flores NTT menyatakan dengan tegas menolak segala bentuk aktivitas pertambangan di pulau Flores.

Sebab, dampak dari aktivitas pertambangan sangat dirasakan untuk kerusakan lingkungan hidup. Karena itu, pemerintah diminta mencabut seluruh surat izin kuasa pertambangan yang sedang berjalan saat ini. Penolakan tambang di pulau Flores-Lembata disampaikan 134 misionaris yang berkarya di berbagai negara, benua dan simpatisan yang bergabung dalam Forum Allesaja dan pencinta lingkungan hidup internasinal tertanggal 5 Mei.

Kopian pernyataan sikap misionaris dan pencinta lingkungan hidup internasional yang dikeluarkan di Hongkong itu ditandatangani, P Gregory Harapan, SVD dan P Paul Rahmat, SVD atas nama Forum Allesaja diperoleh Timor Express di Ruteng, Sabtu (9/5) lalu.

Misionaris SVD yang menandatangani surat pernyataan itu diantaranya, P Markus Solo Kewuta, SVD yang bekerja di Vatikan Roma-Italia, P Beny Wegho, SVD di Mississipi Amerika Serikat bersama lima rekannya, P Dami Abun di Filipina, Clemens Naben, SVD di Brasil bersama belasan rekannya, P Hendrikus Rogan Ole, SVD di Argentina, P Baltasar Lukem, SVD di Rusia, P Johanes Pemandi Nurak, SVD di Venezuela, P Kornelis Boli Ujdan, SVD, Paraguay, Sr. Damiana Danibao, SSpS di Togo Afrika Barat bersama rekan-rekannya, Sr Marieta Benggok, SSpS di Jerman, P Severinus Korsin, SVD di Wina Australia, P Ardianus Hanyon, SVD di Nagoya Jepang, P Steven Mere, SVD di Inggris, Klemens Hayon di Belanda, P. Modestus Lando, SVD di Hungary, P Herman Ramly Tabut, SVD di Hongkong, P Paulus Tolo, SVD di Roma-Italia, P Hilarius Niri Kaha, SVD di Meksiko, Vincent Tadji di Polandia serta ratusan imam lain.

Para misionaris, simpatisan dan pencinta lingkungan hidup internasional mendasarkan pertimbangan untuk menolak tambang, pertama, tambang bukan pilihan yang tepat dari sisi strategi, model dan urgensi pembangunan di Flores-Lembata,tambang tidak relevan dan koheren dengan kondisi geologis, topografi pulau Flores-Lembata yang bergunung-gunung dan berada di lintasan gunung berapi.

Kedua, pertambangan tidak sesuai dengan pola kehidupan sosial budaya dan ekonomi masyarakat yang berbasis pertanian dan kelautan. Ketiga, kegiatan pertambangan merusak dan mencemarkan lingkungan secara permanen. Keempat, pertambangan identik dengan proses marjinalisasi masyarakat lokal, menelantar kehidupan generasi yang akan datang dan melukai rasa keadilan bagi ibu bumi.

Karena itu, ratusan misionaris menyerukan lima hal yakni menghentikan semua aktivitas pertambangan yang sedang berjalan dan menolak pemberian izin kuasa pertambangan bagi perusahaan tambang di pulau Flores-Lembata. Menuntut pemerintah untuk mencabut izin kuasa pertambangan yang telah diberikan. Menuntut pemerintah untuk memulihkan lingkungan hidup yang sudah rusak dan tercemar akibat dari aktivitas pertambangan.

Perusahaan-perusahaan tambang untuk membayar ganti rugi atau kompensasi yang adil kepada masyarakat yang dirugikan akibat aktivitas pertambangan dan melakukan reklamasi sebelum meninggalkan lokasi tambang. Menuntut untuk memperhatikan lingkungan hidup sebagai dasar pijak dalam pelbagai kebijakan pembangunan.

Forum ini juga mendukung suara kritis-profetik dan gerakan moral gereja dan organisasi-organisasi civil society lainnya di Flores-Lembata untuk membela hak-hak masyarakat adat atas tanah, air, hutan, lingkungan dan memperjuangkan keadilan bagi ibu bumi dan generasi yang akan tanpa kekerasan. (kr2)

(Di muat di forum diskusi Allesaja)

quarta-feira, 27 de maio de 2009

Statement on the negotiations about the outcome of the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development

May 20, 2009

1. The global financial crisis is biting hard. The crisis affects billions of people all over the world, pushing many millions of them into unemployment and poverty, and violating their economic, social and cultural rights. While at first it was rich countries that felt it most, middle income and poor countries have now begun to feel the crunch, and it is likely to have an even greater disproportionate impact on them in the months and years to come.

2. The response of the G20 was not sufficient to address the root causes of these multiple crises of food, climate, financial markets and sustainable development.

3. The global crisis needs a global response involving all societies that are affected by the crisis. Therefore, the United Nations is the only legitimate forum through which the crisis can be resolved. This is the reason why we highly welcomed the decision of governments in Doha to hold a UN Conference on the world economic and financial crisis and its impact on development.

4. Civil Society Organizations and Networks have produced comprehensive statements listing their recommendations and demands on how to address the current crisis, starting with the "Civil Society Benchmark Paper" in the run-up to the Doha Conference 2008.

5. Many of our demands are reflected in the recommendations presented by the "Stiglitz Commission" in March 2009. For this reason we regard these recommendations as a good basis on which to build a new global economic and financial system.

6. We believe that the UN conference in June must put forward immediate responses to the crisis and simultaneously decide on an intergovernmental time-bound process towards the long-term reforms.

7. Many of our positions are also reflected in the first draft outcome document presented by the President of the General Assembly (PGA) on 8 May 2009. We understand that the recommendations in this document contain short-term measures that have to be implemented immediately as a response to the current crisis, such as the sufficient funding for a global stimulus package, and long-term measures, such as the establishment of a new Global
Reserve System or the proposal for a Global Tax Authority. We agree that the UN conference in June has to come up with immediate responses to the crisis and simultaneously decide on an intergovernmental time-bound process towards the long term reforms.

8. We understand that under the current time pressure it will be difficult for governments to agree on a comprehensive set of radical reforms. But, a consensus on many concrete reform proposals that are on the table can still be reached. Among the decisions that are of high priority and could be taken at the UN Conference without any further delay are the following:

- The initiative to establish a Global Panel on Systemic Risks in the World Economy, following the model of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, bringing together academics, civil society and policy makers.

- The decision to upgrade the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation on

Tax Matters to an intergovernmental Commission on Tax Matters as a functional commission of ECOSOC by the end of 2009.

- The political commitment to introduce an internationally coordinated Financial Transaction Tax in order to mobilize additional resources for a short-term Global Stimulus Fund and the longer-term implementation of the Internationally Agreed Development Goals, including the MDGs.

- The establishment of an Intergovernmental Working Group with a clear and time-bound mandate to define the modalities and terms of reference for a Global Economic Coordination Council within the UN system. This working group should act in a transparent manner and should be open to NGO participation.

- The decision to review the Agreement between the UN and the Bretton-Woods-Institutions (BWIs) in order to enhance coordination and policy coherence by integrating the BWIs as specialized agencies completely into the UN system.

9. VIVAT urges all governments to quickly resume the substantive negotiations on the urgently needed global policy responses to the current crisis.

Felix Jones, SVD and Zelia Cordeiro, SSpS – VIVAT International

quarta-feira, 6 de maio de 2009


CHINA : Bishop John Tong of Hong Kong, "man of dialogue," but with "non-negotiable principles" INTERVIEW by Gianni Criveller PIME
A wide-ranging interview with the successor to the combative Cardinal Zen. The progress and prospects of the Church's efforts in the territory, and toward the sister Church in China, in a give-and-take relationship. Openness and dialogue with the Chinese government, but remembering the Chinese bishops in prison, and asking for complete religious liberty. Memories of childhood and of his conversion. The work of the Holy Spirit Study Centre. Hong Kong (AsiaNews) Bishop John Tong, who turns 70 this July, is the ordinary bishop of Hong Kong. He succeeds Cardinal Joseph Zen, whose resignation the pope accepted last April 15. Fr. Gianni Criveller, a missionary of the PIME, who has spent 16 years in Hong Kong, has long been working together with Bishop Tong, and ask him for this interview, which we presented in its entirety. In it, the prelate talks about the progress of the mission in Hong Kong and on the mainland, relations with the government of Hong Kong and Beijing, and the difficulties with religious freedom. the bishop presents himself as a man of dialogue, but with "nonnegotiable" principles, and calls upon China to guarantee full religious freedom and human rights for the population. He asserts that he will continue the defense of freedom of education for Catholic schools in Hong Kong.

Fr. Gianni Criveller : What are the main objectives in your service as Bishop in Hong Kong?
What will be your pastoral priorities?

Bishop John Tong - I am quite familiar with the pastoral objectives of the diocese since I served as one of the vicars general since 1992. The main objective in my service as the Ordinary of Hong Kong will be encouraging all the Catholics to implement the pastoral priorities set by the diocesan Synod in 2002. The Diocese has already chosen its pastoral priority from July 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010: the Year of Priestly Vocations. We have already made a lot of efforts in implementing the priorities set by the Synod, and have also achieved some good results. But we need to continue and make more efforts in the future.

What can the church of Hong Kong do for the evangelization of Hong Kong, China, Asia and the world?

We all acknowledge that all the baptized should be missionaries and have the spirit of evangelization, following the instructions given to us by Our Lord. When I talk about evangelization, I like to propose two symbolic images: a water reservoir and washing hands. In Hong Kong we have several reservoirs, and they are so necessary to sustain our life. The function of a reservoir is to receive and give water, otherwise the water inside the reservoir will loose its freshness. Similarly, if we really want to make our faith always living and refreshing, we have to receive from and give to others at the same time. This is why I think that even in relation with the Church in China, we are not only giving, but also receiving: the two communities benefit from each other. The other image illustrates a similar concept. When we wash hands, we do not say that one hand washes the other, but rather that both hands wash each other, benefiting each other. Similarly, there is only one way to be a good Christian; that is to be a good missionary. Being Christian and having the spirit of evangelization are like washing hands; one hand cannot do without the other. We ask our Catholics to make ever-greater efforts in evangelization. Every year we have a good number of newly baptized. At the Easter Vigil in 2008 we had almost 2800 neophytes, mostly adults. At this Easter Vigil we had a good number of newly baptized: 2730. We have also been sending out some missionaries to countries in Asia and elsewhere in the world: some lay missionaries to Cambodia, and priests to Tanzania, Canada and other countries. Although we do not have many local priests, we still encourage this missionary spirit within our community.

Do foreign missionaries still have a role in Hong Kong? Which one?

Definitely. Hong Kong is a young church. Our faith still needs to be positively influenced by Catholics coming from overseas, especially those countries which have deep faith and a long Christian tradition. We appreciate PIME missionaries because they come from such an ancient Catholic country. They have brought to us many charisms, treasures and culture that are not only different, but can also be a positive model for us. Of course, the same should be applied to missionaries coming from other countries. Personally I am very interested in learning new things from different countries and different cultures. We have missionaries from 30 different countries and Catholic faithful from about 50 nationalities. Hong Kong is an international community. I consider this a great blessing, because our faith and culture can be enriched.

What about relationship with other Christian denominations and religions?

I had been the chairperson of the diocesan ecumenical commission in the 1970s, therefore I gained some experience in this field. I did my best to promote good relationship with other Christian communities, and I still have many good friends among their leaders. They also remember me with fondness. Regarding other religions, I think our relationships have been very harmonious. We try to follow the declaration from the Council Vatican II, Nostra Aetate, on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions. We look forward to deepen friendship with members of other religions and join them in the service of society. At the same time, we uphold our principles. We always keep our faith in Christ as the only savior of the whole world. In no way do we give up our principles.

What are the most urgent problems in Hong Kong’s society?

Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan city, and one of the world financial centres; therefore our society and our people are deeply influenced by the global situation. Now we are facing the financial and economic tsunami. I fully agree with the Holy Father who issued a statement last Christmas and again on the occasion of the New Year. He spoke about the anxieties suffered by the peoples because of the economic tsunami. But, he said, we should not consider this as a crisis only, but as an opportunity as well. If we look it on an ethical way, we can turn crisis into an opportunity. We can rediscover the value of simplicity, fraternity and unity in the global family. If everybody lives a simple life, according to what one needs rather than pursuing material desires, one can rediscover the beauty of simplicity and get rid of egoism. Due to progress in communication, we are in a global family, or a global village. We should indeed learn how to live with each other, because we are all brothers and sisters. No matter which nationality or culture we belong to, we should help each other and live in solidarity. God has definitely offered enough resources for our needs. What is urgent and necessary is solidarity and justice.

How can the church serve the society and its needs?

The church should follow, practice and promote the teaching of our Holy Father Benedict XVI. We need right vision, right concept, and faith. This means faith in God, in ourselves and in others, without ever giving up. With such a concept and such a spirit, all problems in society can eventually be solved.

How is your relationship with the government?

My relationship with the government in Hong Kong is not bad. I do not expect any special treatment from the government. There is no harm in having a harmonious relationship with the government, so that we can better serve the society. But we will never compromise on our principles and we will always uphold Catholic doctrine. Following the announcement of my installment as the Ordinary of the Diocese, I have received some congratulatory messages from government officials in Hong Kong: the Secretary for Civil Affairs and the Secretary for Education. The latter, Mr. Michel Suen, sent me a letter although we met only on one or two occasions. So far they have showed good will towards me. I appreciate their friendship, yet I will not forget to tell them what my bottom lines are, and what are the Church’s standpoints.

What about Education judicial case?

Our standpoints on education will not change. I will set up an ad hoc team to follow up the judicial case, while we are always open for dialogue and negotiations.

Will Hong Kong continue exercise its role of sister/bridge church toward China? How?

I always use one word to describe the rationale of my work regarding China for the last 30 years: SMART. This is the policy we have been following at the Holy Spirit Study Centre. The abbreviation stands for Small (we support projects that are small); Measurable (or accountable, there should be a system of checking projects); Articulate (all elements and stages of projects must be clearly stated); Results achieving (projects must deliver what was promised); Time bound (projects should start and be completed in reasonable time). We continue working with this policy. In this way we can make our bridge-building ever more effective. I am not an ambitious man. If we can continue our work, building upon the trust that other people have been giving to us, we can make contributions to the Church in China and to the Universal Church. I was trained in scholastic philosophy and theology. Contra factum, non valet argumentum. (There is no valid argument against facts.) We have been making contributions in this way. So far our work has been appreciated in many parts of the world, and in the Universal Church. We realize that our contribution is still limited, but we can help the Church in China to a certain degree. This requires right concept and vision, and then one needs effort and perseverance to implement the concept and to turn vision into reality, so that little by little reality can be improved. This is the way I think and do, and I know my colleagues share my viewpoint. These principles are useful not only for our work for the Church in China, but also for our spiritual life.
Will teachers from Hong Kong still go to seminaries in China? What can the church in Hong Kong do for sister churches in China? Nowadays many Catholics go to China as visitors. Many of them can offer good influence and updated ideas to our brothers and sisters in China. The present situation permits some Catholics from China to come to Hong Kong. We make great effort to properly welcome them. The diocese has organized an ad hoc committee to receive them. We guide them to see the city, but we especially organize some meaningful pastoral exposures for them. They visit can some interesting churches, participate in church activities and visit some organizations within the diocese, such as the Liturgical Commission, the Catechetical Centre, hospital pastoral care units. So far these guided tours have been highly appreciated. There is interaction. Our relationship goes in both directions: we go to China, and Catholics from China come to us. Some of our professors are still allowed to teach in China seminaries, but fewer than before. On the other hand, some of our priests and Sisters are invited to give retreats, spiritual guidance and spiritual meetings in China. The number is higher than before. I think God is always good to us. As an Irish proverb says: When God closes a door, then He opens a window.

What are the priorities for the Church in China?

I follow the Letter of the Holy Father addressed to the Catholics in China. Some priorities are: promoting reconciliation and unity among different communities in China, and their full communion with the Universal Church and the Holy Father. Formation of priests, Sisters, seminarians and laity is also important. I always stress the importance of having the right vision and the right concept as a bridge/sister church.

Do you think you can play any role in the service of Church in China?

Of course I can play a role, as a Catholic, and as a leader of Hong Kong Catholic Church. I can lead the curia, clergy and laity to move forward toward the right direction. I have been playing this role for the past 30 years, and I will continue doing so. This is why I am staying at the seminary (rather than moving to the Diocesan Centre), and this is why I will continue to be the director of the Holy Spirit Study Centre. This is a bit exceptional, but when I mentioned it to people, they were not surprised, because they know how much I care about our work for the Church in China.

How do you see yourself in relationship with Chinese politics? What are your contacts with the Central government and its Liaison Office here in Hong Kong?

I think it is ok. Yes, I would use this word: ok. My door of contacts is open, and so far the same is true from their side to me. At least we can talk to each other. As I have mentioned already in my public statement and at the press conference on April 16, I have my bottom lines. Firstly, I wish to show my openness and warm attitude toward everybody. But I cannot hide or sacrifice my principles and bottom lines. Therefore I will follow the Holy Father’s letter. He has stated the direction for us to follow, and I will do just that. I am a member of the Commission for the Church in China, established by the Holy See. In the meetings of that Commission, I occasionally expressed my opinion openly, and I have noticed some of my opinions have been welcome by the Holy See. I have already checked my bottom lines with the Holy See. And holding firm to my positions, I can handle my dialogue with the Chinese government.

Did you receive their congratulations on your appointment?

Yes, I received congratulations from officials of the Chinese governments. The vice-director of the Liaison Office here in Hong Kong sent me a warm letter of congratulations. On April 16, after my press conference, the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry in Beijing, answering a question from a journalist, talked about my appointment without any negative criticism. Official Chinese media has reported her statement. She mentioned the agreement with the British government about the principle of "One Country, Two Systems." She said she hopes that our relationships will improve, and she encourages the interactions between the Church in Hong Kong and the Church in China. Of course she repeated some of their old lines, such as the principles of non- interference, non-subordination and mutual respect. At least she talked about me quite neutrally, and not negatively. Again, I would say that my relationships with Beijing are acceptable so far.

Will you go to China if invited? On what conditions?

You know that last year I was invited to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. In case I will be invited to visit China again, I will follow the same principles I stated in my article published on the Osservatore Romano in August 2008. I will first consult my superior. And then if I go to China, I will go in a very discreet way because there are still bishops who are in prison in China, and I will not forget them. They are my brothers therefore I will always show concern and respect for them. I remember when I have accompanied Card. John B. Wu (then Bishop Wu) visiting China in 1985. We tried to meet with the Bishop of Shanghai, Ignatius Kung, who was still under detention. During that trip in our conversations with the officials we expressed many times our insistence of visiting Bishop Kung. In those days, of course, we did not know that he was already a cardinal in pectore. So they know our lines. We are not going to China as tourist, or to be entertained at table by officials. We are not interested in those things. We are concerned with all our brothers and sister whose human rights and religious freedom are restricted.

What should the Chinese government do to improve its relationship with the Catholic Church?

I think unless authorities allow religious freedom and full human rights to all our brothers and sisters of the church, there cannot be full relations between the two parties. It is our duty to try our best to enlighten the Chinese government on these issues. This is what we can do to help the Catholic Church in China. It is good to see that the Holy See has an informal dialogue with the Chinese government. At least the door is not closed. We are guided by the spirit of Vatican II: only dialogue and negotiation can solve conflicts. Fighting and animosity will never help. This is what I learned when I studied theology in Rome, it was precisely the time when the Second Vatican Council was in session. I have been enlightened by the spirit of Vatican II.

You mentioned the Pope’s letter to Catholic Church in China. How have the Pope’s directives been implemented? What can the Holy See do to support the Church in China?

First of all we should give all the faithful the chance to read the letter of the Holy Father. The second step is: helping them to understand it properly. No one should give a partial interpretation of it; the Letter must be accepted in its entirety. If we read the letter correctly, we will learn how to forgive and to sacrifice for the greater good of the Church. Therefore I am glad to hear that in the near future the Holy See might publish a compendium that serves as guide and as a commentary. The compendium will benefit Catholics, especially those in China, to have a correct understanding of the letter.

You serve after the outspoken and charismatic Cardinal Zen. Where do you see yourself in continuation with his leadership? Where will there be a change?

Some people thought that I would loose my sleep after taking over Card. Joseph Zen’s responsibility. But I can tell you that I keep sleeping very well for six hours every night. I know my limitations. But I trust in God, in Catholic teaching, and in the collective wisdom of the Catholic community. My predecessors built up excellent and healthy structures for the Diocese. We leaders should collect different opinions before making any important decision. We should have open eyes to see different situations and open hears to listen to different opinions. The Diocese is provided with a Pastoral Council, a Council of Priests, and various commissions. The Hong Kong church, although still young, is quite well established and structured. As one of the Vicars General for 17 years, I was in charge of the Bishop’s office and of the Seminary, where now I am now still teaching few classes. I know my coworkers and colleagues in the diocese very well, and trust them. Therefore I can say: so far so good. I hope and pray that, with the help of others, I can manage my workload. I still find time to play basketball. As long as my age allows, I will continue do physical exercise. So my schedule is more or less the same as before. I appreciate Cardinal’s Zen outstanding charisms, but I think the church does not rely in one person only, no matter how good he or she might be. We are a community.

Tell us something more about yourself. Where were you born? What about your family?

I was born in Hong Kong in a non-Catholic family. (In fact, Bishop Tong was born in Staunton Street n. 8, at the second floor in a house located in the area now popularly called Soho, along the middle level escalator. The rebuilt house now hosts a restaurant, Pepperoni’s. Gianni’s note).
So, you are the fist Hong Kong bishop who was born in Hong Kong! You are right: I am the first Hong Kong bishop who was born in this city (laugh). My father was born in Guangdong province; I do not know what village exactly. My mother was born in Macau. Her grandfather produced mantles for lights in Hong Kong. When she was a young girl she studied at the Sacred Heart School of the Canossian sisters in Caine Road. As mentioned, she was not Catholic. One day the school had the visit of Archbishop Mario Zanin, the Apostolic Delegate to China visiting Hong Kong (It was April 1934, Gianni’s note). The Sisters mobilized all the students to welcome the prestigious guest in the most solemn fashion. My mother was chosen, by the Principal, Sister Mabel Anderson, to present the flowers to Archbishop Zanin on behalf of all school. Maybe she was chosen because she always dressed nicely. She told us this episode many times, always feeling very proud of that privilege. Since then she had the highest respect for the Sisters, particularly for Sr. Anderson. The good impression about the church remained in her heart but, at that time, she did not receive baptism.

What happened next?

When I was two years old, the Japanese invaded Hong Kong. My family had to move to Macau, and shortly after, to Canton. I was the only boy in the family. My father had an elder brother, who had a daughter. In the traditional family, boys were preferred over the girls. Therefore, for my protection, I was separated from my parents and sent to stay with my grandmother (on father’s side) in a village in Hua County, Guangdong Province. Later, Hua County became part of the municipality of Canton (Guangzhou). My grandmother loved me very much and she protected me no matter what. One day there was not enough food. My grandma sent someone to the neighboring village to borrow some rice. We got only one small bowl of it. So Grandma, who was very dictatorial, decided that I was the only one to have the rice. At that time I was proud, but later in my life I felt ashamed of that privilege. It shows the injustice of superiority of men over women in the traditional society. But I remember this episode with some fondness, because my grandma really loved me and took good care of me. So when I was in the Macau seminary and heard the news of her death, I cried a lot.

When were you reunited with your parents?

When the war finished, on the Feast of the Assumption (August 15) 1945, I moved to Canton City. I was with my grandma for more than three years, from when I was two and a half to age six. Then I was reunited with my parents in Canton and started my primary school education. My father got sick of tuberculosis. My mother had to work as a teacher. Those times were very harsh. It was on those days I learned my endurance and tolerance. Before he got sick, my father worked as a bursar in a company. He was much trusted by the owner, and in those days owners cared about their employees. When my father got sick, the boss gave us a small flat to live free of charge, and also gave my family some monthly allowance. In any case, the money was not enough, so my mother had to work.

You and your family were still non-Catholic. When did you enter the Church?

As I mentioned above, my mother was very well disposed toward the church. The episode with Archbishop Zanin might have been providential. After the war, facing much hardship, she remembered those good days, and how much the church did for her. I should thank God for our hard life in Canton, which prompted my mother to seek baptism. After her, we were all baptized in Canton in the years following the war. We lived near a church, so she encouraged us to go often to the church. The cathedral is in Ho Bak (north of the Pearl River); our church was in Ho Nan (south of the river), in a less developed area. The church was near the riverside. The missionaries working there were American Maryknollers. They bought a house and started a small mission. In those years the fighting between Communists and Nationalists in northern and central China was quite devastating. Many wounded and destitute soldiers sought refuge in Canton. Everyday I saw such people coming down looking for assistance. I witnessed how much the foreign missionaries, particularly my parish priest, Fr Bernard Meyer, MM, helped many in need. He really had the same love and compassion of Christ towards those in need. Fr. Meyer introduced my mother to teach in a school. In those days, a high school graduate like my mother was considered as having a good standard of education. So my mother became a teacher, even if she was not trained as such.

What about your vocation?

The parish priest introduced me to the Catholic primary school in Canton. I took the examination, I passed, and then I was admitted into the school. It was next to the cathedral, called Ming Dak Primary School. I was granted a scholarship. I practically studied free of charge from primary school, then of course the seminary etc, so I was supported by the church all my life. I am a church-raised boy. As for my vocation, of course it took a long time to become clear and firm. Since I was still in Canton, and moved by the good example of my parish priest, I thought it was good to become a priest. Fr. Meyer came to visit my home and told my parents about my desire. After the Communists established their regime in China, we noticed that church activities were under pressure. The parish priest and other priests invited me to go to Macau, because it could allow me to pursue my vocation. It was like the situation here in Hong Kong before 1997. My parents thought that the church was trustworthy, and it would be good to leave China. Therefore they agreed. In February 1951, I left China, and I went directly to Macau where I entered the seminary.

What about the rest of your family?

My mother, younger sister and younger brother, moved to Hong Kong one by one, at different times. They were allowed to emigrate because we had relatives in Hong Kong. I am almost ten years older than my brother, and seven years older than my sister. So when I entered the Macau minor seminary in 1951 my brother and my sister were still very small. My father did not move to Hong Kong: he died in China in 1952, at the young age of 42.

How about your theological education?

I stayed in Macau 6 years plus few months, at Saint Joseph seminary, where I finished my high school studies. In 1957 I came to the Holy Spirit Seminary in Hong Kong where I studied philosophy and some theology. In 1964 I went to Rome. I continued my theological studies at Pontifical Urbaniana University, and lived in the Collegio Urbano. I was ordained a priest in January 1966, by Pope Paul VI. It was one month after the closing ceremony of Vatican II. I obtained both licentiate and doctorate in dogmatic theology.

Where are your family members now?

My younger brother lives now in Canada. He is almost retired. He is a driving instructor. My sister-in-law works for the government. They have three daughters, one of whom is already married. My sister, my brother-in-law and my mother are here in Hong Kong. All of them are retired. My mother is 90 years old. She stays at the Home for the Aged run by the Little Sisters of the Poor here in Aberdeen.

How is your mother?

She is all right under the good care of the Sisters. But she is almost blind, due to macular degeneration. She cannot walk. She has been sitting on a wheelchair for a long time. For this reason her health is deteriorating. She also suffers from a mild level of dementia. Sometimes she is clear, sometime confused. However, I think she understands that I have been appointed the Bishop of Hong Kong.

What about your previous services in the diocese?

Since I returned to Hong Kong, I have lived in the seminary all the time. This has been my only residence. I have been teaching theology, and later Chinese philosophy also. I was the Dean of Studies in the 1970s. In 1979 I was one of those invited to initiate the Holy Spirit Study Centre (HSSC). I asked to take a half-year sabbatical to update myself before the start of the HSSC. I traveled to the States and elsewhere for six months. Then I returned to Hong Kong and took up my new assignment. I was not alone; others collaborate with me. I have always thought that it is very important to work with others and to find the right direction together.

Was it your suggestion to found the Holy Spirit Study Centre?

No, it was a diocesan decision. China was opening, and everybody understood that Hong Kong should do something for the Church in China. Before 1979 we hardly had information about the Church in China. But after the opening, people started to travel across the border. They brought back some news. People inside asked for help. It was necessary to do something to meet those needs. In the Council of Priests, we agreed that a structure should be established to express concern for the Church in China. I presided over the meeting, but I did not know that later I would be chosen for the job.

Why did Bishop Wu chose you as main responsible for the HSSC?

I do not know why Bishop John B. Wu chose me for this job. He did not tell me. Maybe he considered that I was raised in China; that I studied Chinese philosophy at CUHK. I received a M. Phil. (Master’s in Philosophy) in the 1970s. In those years I was invited by Concilium, the theological review, to collaborate with them, and I took part to some international meetings. I was also occasionally invited to give talks outside of Hong Kong. In the diocese, I was the Dean of Theology, chairperson of Council of Priests, and chairperson of the Ecumenical Commission. I also was chairperson of the Association of Diocesan Chinese Priests. So I was quite active in the diocese. Sometime, I also did some writings for Cardinal Wu. Maybe these were the reasons why Bishop Wu chose me, but I cannot say with certainty. Many people from abroad went to pay a visit to Bishop Wu, and they asked what Hong Kong was doing about China. I remember with fondness that he was always very proud to introduce me to those people, saying: "Fr. Tong is now taking care of these things."

The Bishop’s call was a turning point in your life, wasn’t it?

Yes, you are right. This appointment was a turning point for me, because I had to travel and to participate in more international meetings. I started to be known by many people around the world who were interested in China. Many people would contact us at the HSSC before visiting China. Therefore we had to learn how to articulate our ideas, let them know what we think… And then we had to keep checking whether what we thought was right or not. So, step by step, we built up our knowledge and experience. This has been a great gift for us. It was God’s providence.

Do you remember any important moments in the life of the Centre?

There were many important moments in the life of the Centre, and important visits, such as the Secretary of State Card. Agostino Casaroli and the present Holy Father, then Card. Joseph Ratzinger. Many bishops and well-known personalities from all around the world came to visit us. At the beginning we were quite naïve and lacking in experience. We needed some time to built knowledge and experience.

How would you describe yourself, your personality?

I think I am a mild person. I follow the Chinese saying, known also in Latin: In medio stat virtus (virtue is in the middle). I think it is important to be a man of communication and dialogue. Somebody once gave me as a gift a replica of a painting originally from Russia. I particularly like that painting: it is about the Annunciation. The angel brought a message to Mary, and she answered "yes" to God through the angel. Then she brought Jesus to the whole world. We have to follow in the footsteps of the Angel and of Mary in being persons of communication. When I talk about communication, I do not mean technique, but human communication. I find that giving and receiving are very important. I believe I am a simple and ordinary person. If just possible, I would like to do something good for others, as Ps. 23:6 says, "Ah, how goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life." - www.asianews.it

quinta-feira, 16 de abril de 2009

61st Annual DPI/NGO Conference

VIVAT members at the 61st Annual DPI/NGO Conference commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was held during 3-5 September 2008 at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France

For the past 60 years, the DPI/NGO Conference had been held at the UN’s New York Headquarters. The 61st Annual DPI/NGO Conference was in Paris, France, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It marked the first time in the Conference’s history that it was held outside of New York.
Goals of the Conference:
- To provide a forum for diverse actors, including civil society, governments, media, academia, and the private sector to discuss timely human rights issues and their role in addressing them; - To reflect on the challenges confronted by human rights organizations at the international, national and local levels and articulate measures to address those challenges; - To identify the most effective ways in which civil society is yielding a positive impact on the respect for human rights, and acknowledge those contributions; - To engage human rights defenders, victims of human rights violations, members of socially and economically marginalized communities, civil society from regions that are often underrepresented in UN fora, as well as youth, in informing the discussions around human rights; - To underscore the gap between existing policies for the protection and promotion of human rights and their implementation, and recommend ways to advance accountability; - To impact the awareness about human rights issues today among various sectors, including academia, media, the private sector and the broad public, targeting groups that are typically not informed by UN and NGO activities.

VIVAT Participation: Four members of VIVAT (one from New York and three from Europe) actively took part in this conferences. The conference provided the participants like VIVAT with a greater knowledge of measures and goals that can be achieved by working together with the United Nations and its partners to understand and reaffirm human rights for all.

The DPI/NGO Conference helped us to appreciate still further the centrality of issues related to Human Rights in development work and in our common mission. It also helped us to deepen our awareness of the importance of having personal contact with the grass-roots work of human rights defenders and those who are persecuted in various ways as a result of violations of their basic rights and responsibilities. The many important speakers at the conference brought this message home in their personal testimonies and in their very presence. We found it most inspiring to be able to see and listen to many prominent figures in the history of human rights and We are convinced that this personal experience is what helps us to deepen our own conviction and commitment.

The Paris Conference also deepened our awareness of the important part that NGOs play in the work of human rights, how this needs to be understood more and more, and also the importance of international institutions such as the United Nations, various treaties, covenants, International Law and the role of the International Criminal Court, especially in promoting accountability within sovereign states. UN conferences open many doors to networking with other committed people and organisations. They help us to respond to global issues, and introduce us to various movements.

The DPI/NGO Conference in Paris listened to the personal testimonies of many victims of human rights abuses as well as workers for human rights. The presence of Ambassador Stéphane Hessel, who was 30 years old when he participated in the drafting of the original Declaration on Human Rights made it an historical occasion. Stéphane made reference to René Cassin, Eleanor Roosevelt and others who were present at the drafting of the original declaration. It was a privilege to hear these first hand reports and to put a face on some of these historical people whom we have only read about before.

It was also a privilege to be present when Ingrid Betancourt addressed the Conference and told of her nearly seven years in captivity in Columbia. She spoke of the nature of human rights being self-evident even in countries where they have not yet been enshrined by law. We listened to debates between different actors in the field of human rights including instrumental figures in the drawing up of the Earth Charter, members of important organisations such as Human Rights Watch, UN Special Envoys, the Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and a host of other speakers whose lives have been dedicated to building a better world. It was immensely interesting to listen to these people and to have the opportunity to meet other participants and to share common interests and challenges.

On reflection we believe that we have been given a strong mandate to promote global action on behalf of the poor and persecuted

SSPS in AMERICA: Committed to Life

The III PANAM Assembly of Mission Animation (MA) and Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) was held from the 13th to the 18th September 2008 in the SSpS Provincial house, Ponta Grossa Brazil. Although the event takes place every three years, this particular Assembly was characterized by certain unique features in terms of the composition of participants, organization and direction setting.

THE PARTICIPANTS (45) Sisters representing a variety of apostolates like MA/JPIC, VIVAT International, education, formation, pastoral care and indigenous apostolate gave the Assembly a richness and depth that come from experience and expertise. Sr. M. Theresia joined the Assembly in its concluding moments. Sr. Agada Brand participated in the entire Assembly.
THE AIM of the Assembly was to achieve a more integrated and effective SSpS missionary presence in the Americas by mutual collaboration and networking among the Provinces and among coordinators of various areas.

THE METHODOLOGY AND PROCESS included input sessions on “Images of the Trinity and Images of Communion” , “Mission Today: dialogue ad intra and dialogue ad extra” , “Analysis of the Latin American situation in the light of the Document of the Aprecida” , and “Round table panels on relevant Latin American themes and concerns” . VIVAT International used the opportunity to make known its nature, aim and function to an otherwise little acquainted audience in terms of their familiarity with our NGO. With the help of guide questions for group discussions, through personal reflection and in open forums the Sisters explored the possibility of bringing about a new direction for the Americas. A half- day exposure in small groups to the frontier realities of Ponta Grossa and a subsequent reflection together on the experience helped the members to see for themselves the many faces of poverty in the society. Meaningful and creative liturgies, animated music and spontaneous expressions of communion and solidarity marked the event as uniquely Latin American in flavor.

STATEMENT, LINE OF ACTION AND STRATEGIES OF THE ASSEMBLY I shall give a gist of the Assembly Statement using a liberal translation. It reads: “As a community of missionary disciples, open to the Spirit and committed to the poor and the excluded, in the light of the Word of God and in an attitude of constant conversion, we seek to respond to the realities of today, thus contributing towards a better humanization and reconciliation. For this, we need a formation that is integral, ongoing, holistic and in and for mission especially in frontier situations”.
We hope to materialize this dream by: 1. Promoting joint planning 2. Implementing network and collaboration
The Strategies include inter alia,
Taking more seriously our responsibility as members, towards VIVAT International and networking with other NGOs and institutions which are in keeping with our charism.
Encouraging professional training for our sisters and communication and participation both
internal and external.
Proper planning, execution and evaluation of our work at personal and community
levels. The Assembly ended generating a lot of enthusiasm and optimism for our mission in the Americas. What will not end, however, is enduring determination and concerted action, it is hoped.

ASPAC Workshop in Bali

The SSpS Asia Pacific (ASPAC) Workshop on Women Migration and Trafficking in Person was held in SOVERDI Bali Wacana, Indonesia on September 1-20, 2008. It was a very relevant and challenging seminar-workshop with 26 participants coming from 16 Provinces/Regions. Among the participants were Felicie and Atty. Myrna Pagsuberon (from Phil.-South), Carmelita as member of the coordinating team and Evelyn Jose, SSpS (from Phil.-North). An active presence was the CLT representative, Pauline Pereira, SSpS.

This ASPAC seminar-workshop was the outflow of the meeting of ASPAC Provincials and Regional in 2006. They identified and expressed their interest to address within three years the three concerns in the ASPAC region, namely: formation, HIV/AIDS and women. For formation, the ASPAC assembly was held on September 2006 in Bangalore, India. For HIV/AIDS, in Goroka, PNG last February 2007.The current ASPAC Chair, Shalini Mathew, who delivered the opening address, gave the background and rationale for this seminar on women particularly Women Migration and Trafficking, its connectedness to the SSpS origin and history and especially to the recent chapter documents. Pauline who centered her message on migration as being part and parcel of the SSpS life as missionaries, reviewed the challenge given by the recent Gen. Chapter direction “to journey in the direction of being women who, mutually touched and formed by realities of life, especially that of the poor, join with them in a search for ways to be co-creators of a society rooted in the gospel values.”The highlights of the first week of the workshop were the two inputs, the reporting from each Province/Region and a trip to places of Art and Culture were Bali women were involved. “Called as Women to celebrate our Womanhood”was shared by Anna, PK followed by a personal sharing of her companion Sulastri, an empowered young woman and Village Leader. The input “Reality of Women in the Globalized World”(part1) was given by Mr. Dasgupta.

The participants spent the 2nd week for exposure in five separate places, experiencing a taste of “leaving one’s comfort zones” and learning from the prostituted women and migrant workers who came back from abroad. Shared reflection, analysis and relevant inputs from NGOs, an SSpS and a Religious Priest captured the exposure-experience. Pauline guided the group in the process of synthesizing the inputs, province/region reports, exposure program and other relevant reflections, audio-visual aids on “Women Migrant Workers and Trafficking in Persons” and linked to the 13th General Chapter Directions.

Having seen how important networking in responding to the problem of trafficking is, Atty. Myrna was asked to share her experience of WINGS.
To prepare for the plan of action scheduled for the last days, there were country-group discussions and sharing. The last days were used for discussion, sharing and action-plan on three levels: Province/country, ASPAC level and Congregational level. After all the plans were presented, Carmelita, who facilitated the sharing of expectations at the start of the workshop, led the group to an evaluation of the whole workshop. In general the expectations were realized. To wrap up the whole workshop, Pauline invited the participants to a meaningful reflection and review of the 3-week journey, recognizing the value of each one’s/each Province’/Region’s participation, identifying significant moments of grace and insight and the joy experienced by all in the common search for a relevant response to the urgent call of the Spirit to be on the side of the poor and suffering women and girls especially in ASPAC zone.

(By Felicie Arcaya, SSpS)

Joint Workshop of VIVAT Indonesia

A joint workshop was held at Bello-Timor, Indonesia in November 19 – 21, 2008 which was attended by 26 participants including 8 Indonesian’s SVD and SSpS Provincials, 2 SSpS Regionals of Kalimantan and Timor Leste, 16 JPIC SVD-SSpS Coordinators and activists both from Indonesia and Timor Leste. The workshop aimed to consider the possibilities of establishing a foundation which is legally recognized by state. The initiative came from Indonesian’s SVD JPIC coordinators who attended the JPIC Coordinators Assembly of SVD ASPAC at Denpasar, Bali in early December 2007.

Sharing of and reflecting on personal experiences of JPIC practices, the JPIC coordinators realized some difficulties they faced in JPIC activities and ministries especially when ones did an advocacy to public policies. Through a consultative process, the SVD and SSpS Provincials and Regionals of Indonesia and Timor Leste have finally approved to establish a foundation called VIVAT Indonesia. VIVAT Indonesia is necessary not just for a legal status recognized by state which may guarantee a legal protection for our JPIC activists. It is also needed for empowering and coordinating the JPIC movement at the province level as well as to bridge the common concerns both of VIVAT International and of JPIC activists at the country and grassroots level.
Based in Jakarta, VIVAT Indonesia has its operational region in Indonesia and Timor Leste as well. Focusing on the Human Rights issues, VIVAT Indonesia identifies five areas of main concerns including the eradication of poverty, ecology, gender equality, human trafficking and migrant workers.VIVAT Indonesia will officially be launched in January 15, 2009 at closing ceremony of remembering 100 years of the death of Arnold Janssen and Josef Freinademetz. Inspired by this Centennial Year, VIVAT Indonesia Foundation is particularly dedicated to St. Arnold Janssen and St. Josef Freinademetz.

Paul Rahmat, SVD

quarta-feira, 15 de abril de 2009

DIPLOMASI-Konferensi Interfaith Dialogue Italia

Pada tgl. 4 Maret lalu Kementrian Luar Negri RI mengadakan konferensi Dialog Agama dengan Kementrian Luar Negri Italia di Roma bertajuk “Unity in Diversity: The culture of Coexistence in Indonesia” (Il modello indonesiano per una società del convivere).

Hadir Menlu Hassan Wirajuda, Prof. Hasyim Muzadi, President of the Nahldatul Ulama (NU); Prof. Bahtiar Effendi, Director of Political Affairs of Muhammadiyah; Archbishop Martinus D. Situmorang, President of the Indonesian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (KWI); Prof. Siti Musdah Mulia, President of the Indonesian Conference on Religion for Peace (ICRP); Prof. Azyumardi Azra, Decant of the Syarif Hidayatullah University; Mr. Philip K. Wijaya, General Secretary of the Buddhist Council dan penulis terkenal dan Rektor UIN Jakarta, Komarudin Hidayat.

Dalam konferensi ini Pater Markus Solo, SVD di wawancarai oleh para wartawan
mengenai o tema dan hasilnya sebagai berikut:

Reformasi Dialog Islam - Kristen Merupakan Fenomena Menarik

Sejauh pengamatan saya pribadi, walaupun saya bekerja di luar negeri, yaitu di Vatikan dan kebetulan juga menangani dialog Kristen-Islam di Asia, saya melihat bahwa Indonesia berada dalam posisi yang tepat, artinya Indonesia sadar akan pentingnya dialog antar agama sebagai strategi untuk mempromosikan dan memperdalam ko-eksistensi dari masyarakat plural yang ada di Indonesia.

Saya yakin ini merupakan suatu strategi yang sangat penting, dimana saya melihat bahwa ini bukan suatu pilihan, tetapi merupakan suatu keharusan. Kesadaran ini sudah muncul di berbagai kalangan masyarakat Indonesia, baik Muslim, Kristen maupun agama-agama lainnya.

Saya melihat bahwa dialog antar agama merupakan suatu hal yang sangat penting yang dikembangkan dimana-mana didalam masyarakat Indonesia, dan hendaknya ini merupakan suatu kesadaran baru yang terus dipupuk menjadi prinsip bangsa kita bahwa dialog adalah sesuatu hal yang sangat penting karena merupakan tuntutan untuk masyarakat Indonesia.

Dari kantor pusat agama Katolik di Vatikan, kami melihat bahwa dialog antara Kristen dan Islam, setelah 1400 tahun lahirnya Islam, mengalami sebuah evolusi yang sangat menarik. Ada hal-hal bagus yang menarik yang dikembangkan, dimana inisiatif dialog dibuat disini, Italia dan kemudian di Madrid, Spanyol dan dimana-mana. Termasuk dalam hal ini keterbukaan dari Raja Saudi Arabia untuk mengorganisir dan mempromosikan dialog antar agama ini.

Terjadi reformasi-reformasi kecil, dimana terkait dengan dialog antar agama ini, beliau datang sendiri ke Vatikan untuk bertemu dengan Sri Paus pada November 2008. Semuanya itu merupakan suatu perkembangan yang sangat positif, dimana untuk kami di Vatikan, pemahaman perdamaian dan harmoni merupakan suatu perkembangan yang membuat kami untuk lebih membuka diri dan mencari kemungkinan-kemungkinan baru untuk bisa bertemu dan mempromosikan dialog.

Untuk tahun ini misalnya, Dewan kami di Vatikan memprogramkan kunjungan ke Indonesia yang akan menjadi kunjungan pertama secara resmi Vatikan ke Indonesia. Kunjungan ini untuk melihat dari dekat, sejauh mana umat Kristen dan umat Islam serta umat agama-agama lain di Indonesia mempromosikan dialog, sejauh mana kerukunan umat beragama itu menjadi bagian dan keharusan bagi kehidupan masyarakat kita di Indonesia.

Segala sesuatu yang dilakukan oleh kelompok minoritas yang bertendensi kekerasan seperti misalnya aksi-aksi terorisme yang menelan begitu banyak korban jiwa dari orang-orang yang tidak bersalah, tentunya itu sangat disesalkan. Hal itu sebetulnya tidak boleh terjadi terutama kepada orang-orang yang mengaku beragama, karena Tuhan adalah kebaikan, jadi mengapa kebaikan itu diekspresikan dengan menyakiti orang lain. Itu merupakan suatu
hal yang kontradiktif didalam pemahaman tentang agama itu sendiri.

Tetapi kami dari pihak dialog antar agama di Vatikan menggalang kerjasama dengan orang-orang yang berkehendak baik, goodwill people untuk memupuk perdamaian dan bekerja keras bersama kami agar dialog dan perdamaian menjadi bagian integral dari kehidupan bermasyarakat. Dan syukur bahwa orang-orang yang berkehendak baik atau katakanlah orang-orang yang moderat itu masih menempati posisi yang kuat sebagai mayoritas di seluruh dunia.

Dengan mereka kami mencari dan mengembangkan strategi, mencari jalan-jalan baru untuk bekerjasama mempromosikan dialog, karena kami menemukan kesulitan untuk bisa langsung masuk ke kelompok-kelompok minoritas yang ekstrim. Dalam agama Kristen ada juga kelompok-kelompok seperti itu, hanya mereka tidak menggunakan kekerasan secara lisan atau langsung.

Kami sangat senang bahwa kami selalu mendapat partner kerja dari pihak Muslim yang berkehendak baik, dimana mereka termasuk
didalam kelompok mayoritas yang bisa diajak bekerjasama untuk saling memahami. Tentunya dialog itu sendiri berbeda-beda levelnya, dan kita tidak mengatakan bahwa dialog itu mudah, namun pada level-level tertentu kita betul-betul saling memahami dan tahu bahwa kita mempunyai concern yang sama, dan kita bekerjasama bergandengan tangan untuk mempromosikan dialog perdamaian dan harmoni.

Tentu saja ini suatu ide yang sangat bagus, dimana didalam agama Katolik, kami semua yang berkecimpung didalam dialog antar agama ini mengenal adanya jenis-jenis dialog, teori, dan juga praktikalnya. Jadi ini merupakan suatu aspek yang sangat nyata dari sebuah dialog dalam level praktis. Misalnya kami kemarin mengadakan pertemuan dan kerjasama yang sangat menarik dengan World Could Islamic Society dari Libya, yang bergerak dibidang penanganan krisis secara langsung.

Jadi mereka juga mempunyai kehendak baik melakukan kerjasama dengan kita untuk membangun suatu wadah yang baik dan permanent didalam menangani berbagai krisis. Itu merupakan dialog yang sangat menyentuh hakikat kehidupan manusia, yang seringkali terjadi berbagai hal ini dan itu, namun demikian sebagai orang yang beriman dari berbagai macam agama, kita bisa bekerjasama dengan cepat untuk bisa menangani berbagai krisis.

Ini merupakan suatu hal yang sangat bagus, dan mungkin baru dikembangkan dalam level lokal, karena sampai sekarang belum ada suatu organisasi internasional yang bisa mengayomi bagian dunia yang lebih luas. Kalau seandainya organisasi semacam ini ada, maka merupakan suatu hal yang sangat membantu, karena kalau terjadi krisis, baik itu krisis kemanusiaan, konflik, bencana alam dan sebagainya, kita bisa bergerak cepat secara bersama-sama.[]

sábado, 28 de março de 2009

March 25th, 2009, VIVAT International

Dear friends,

On Saturday, March 28th, people around the world will turn off their lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. to celebrate Earth Hour 2009. Sponsored by the World Wide Fund for Nature, Earth Hour is intended to make a global statement about climate change and to demonstrate a commitment to finding solutions.

The lights-out initiative, which began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 as a one-city environmental campaign, has evolved into a global sustainability movement. In 2008, an estimated 50 million people on all seven continents turned their lights out in a united call for action on climate change. So far, over 1,760 cities, towns, and municipalities in 80 countries have signed up to participate in Earth Hour 2009.

Andy Ridley, Earth Hour executive director, hopes Earth Hour 2009 will provide world leaders at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, this December with a global mandate for action on climate change. “We are asking one billion people to take part in what is essentially the first global vote for action on climate change by turning off their lights for one hour and casting a vote for Earth,” he said.

We invite all members of VIVAT, co-workers, families and friends to join us in celebrating Earth Hour 2009. You can sign up to participate in Earth Hour at www.voteearth2009.org or simply join millions of people throughout the world by turning off your lights on March 28 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time.

Felix Jones, svd & Zelia Cordeiro, ssps

NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations
And Associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations
211 East, 43rd St., Suite 706, New York, NY 10017-4707, USA
Tel: (001) 646 487 0003 * Fax: (001) 646 487 0004
E-mail: viny@vivatinternational.org * Website: www.vivatinternational.org