On the eve of Pope Francis visiting Bolivia, Cardinal Peter Turkson has said, “The world needs to change.”
According to Fides, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said this during the inauguration of the World Meeting of Popular Movements, being held in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The July 7-9 meeting has gathered representatives of many different worker’s groups, grass-roots organizations and social realities — not only Catholics — to discuss the theme, “The future of Popular Movements in favor of environment.”
Cardinal Turkson is participating in this meeting, which has brought together some 1,500 participants, and whose conclusions will be delivered to Pope Francis. This marks the movements’ second world meeting, as the first took place Oct. 28, 2014, in the Vatican, where Francis addressed the participants.
Today, the Holy Father will participate in the closing of the meeting in the midst of his three-country, nine-day apostolic visit to Latin America.
The Popular Movements are made up of people and associations aiming to promote collaboration between popular organizations and local churches in the Latin American region. Among those participating are bishops, pastoral workers, and indigenous people.
Popular Movements, the Ghanaian Cardinal urged, are to enact this ‘change’ while always keeping in mind that concern for the planet and for the dignity of people is not exclusively in the hands of religious leaders, scientists, politicians or businessmen.
The protests of the poor, the cardinal observed, have been of ‘vital importance,’ making it, in recent years, possible for world leaders to understand that “one cannot continue with the destruction of the planet and ignore their needs.”
“The Catholic Church wants to hear this cry and be part of it,” said Cardinal Turkson. “The Catholic Church wants to join its hands in these processes and contribute every day with its social cooperatives, its neighborhood councils, its peasant and indigenous communities, for the overall development of the excluded, as individuals, families and peoples” the prelate concluded. (D.C.L.)