Beyond the 'Francis factor,' what signs of hope in the Church?

John Kerry leads campaign

When asked to name signs of hope in our Church and world, Good Samaritan Sister, Mary McDonald, saw very few in the Church, besides the 'Francis factor'. So she began anew to seek them out.

- The Good Oil

What are the signs of hope in the Church and the world?

My initial reaction to that question was somewhat confronting. Besides the 'Francis factor,' I saw very few signs of hope in the Church. This response was probably strongly influenced by the heart-rending stories of pain, suffering and broken trust that have been told by survivors at the hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

So I began anew to seek out the signs of hope. Two areas that both the Church and the world are willing to name and address, are the evil of human trafficking and the ecological crisis. The Good Samaritan Sisters share concerns and hope for both areas.

Recently the Vatican sponsored a conference in Rome, authorised by Pope Francis, which was a collaboration between the British government and police and the Catholic Church, to address the evil of human trafficking which extends across all country boundaries. There, the heroic work of religious women was named and acclaimed. The conference called on all politicians worldwide to give this issue greater recognition.

Soon afterwards, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, announced that the US State Department is planning to work with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to map and co-ordinate the Church’s efforts on a global basis, to help combat the crime of human trafficking.

Here in Australia since 2004, ACRATH has been committed to working together towards the elimination of human trafficking in Australia, Asia, the Pacific and internationally. Good Samaritan Sister, Pauline Coll AM, was the inaugural chair of ACRATH, and advocated strongly for the protection of women and children, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

The second sign of shared hope I see in the Church and the world is the effort to address the current ecological crisis. With the frequency of natural disasters, few now deny that we are in the midst of climate change that will impact on all aspects of the life of our planet earth.

FULL STORY Signs of hope in our church and the world? (The Good Oil)


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