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Universities and civil society facing the political situation.
Which role for catholic intellectuals?
A protest march organized by the Inter University Students’ Federation was held yesterday. The students went on a demonstration demanding the government to,
Cooperation with ILO
Since several years SIIAEC has been working together with the International Labour Organization (ILO, www.ilo.org) and taking part in the Annual International Labour Conference in Geneva as observer.
ILO is the oldest international organization among the United Nations and its main principle is „the Tripartite Dialogue“ between governments, employers and workers.
The actual main topic of ILO since 2000 has been „Decent Work“ comprising Basic Social Protection, Youth Employment and Sustainability. SIIAEC works together with other International Christian NGOs.
Minutes of the SIIAEC conference which took place in Tirana (Albania) from 27.09.2013 - 29.09.2013
The topic was “Social Security in the View of Economic Crisis,
Demographic Change and Ethical Principles”
Dear young people of F.U.C.I.! (Italian Catholic Federation of University students)
I was pleased to know that your federation is preparing to celebrate an Extraordinary National Congress in Arezzo to rediscover the prophetic figure of my venerable predecessor Pope Paul VI, who was your Assistant Central from 1925 to 1933, and whom I will have the joy of proclaiming Blessed 19 October 2014. By addressing to the participants and all members my affectionate greetings, I wish to assure you of my spiritual closeness and accompany the work that you carry out, with three words that can help you in your efforts.
1 The first word that I give you is “stadium”. The essential part of university life lies in the study, hard and patient work of thinking that reveals a tension of human being towards the truth, goodness and beauty. Be aware to receive in the study, a fruitful opportunity to recognize and give voice to the deepest desires kept in your heart, and the ability to make them mature.
Paul VI is now blessed, the liturgical memorial of the new Blessed is scheduled for the day of his birth, September 26.
In St. Peter's Square Pax Romana was present through the delegates at the XII assembly of Meic and hundreds of members from all over Italy. Meic is the Pax Romana Icmica member in Italy as Fuci is the Pax Romana Imcs. A dutiful presence, as explained by Carlo Cirotto president of MEIC, to the Italian catholic newspaper "Avvenire": "Meic received from to Paul VI its very foundation and defining their fundamental characteristics, namely the communication of the experience of faith through the exercise of reason.
On 14th October 2014, Don Bosco Youth Services (DBYS), Mumbai animators Fr. Glenford and Fr. Cleophas, along with Ms. Marina the Social Political Co-ordinator of DBYS and Ms. Divya, Resource Person and member of DBYS had a skype meet with the Catholic Human Rights Activist from Malaysia belonging to the SALT (School of Acting Justly, Loving Tenderly and Treading Humbly with God) Movement to understand the Human Rights Issue in Malaysia and also to learn the methodology to train youngsters for social justice work. The speakers were Erlinda Joseph and Amanda Leonie. The discussion began with introduction of the participants and by introducing SALT movement and the SYM (Salesian Youth Movement). Erlinda shared her university experience and the challenges she faced when joining the SALT work for Human Rights. Belonging to the Orang Asli indigenous community, she has worked towards the rights of her people, also motivating her village members to join for social justice work. Likewise, Amanda belonging to the Dusan indigenous community shared her experience for the same. She shared her struggle to fight the Bakun dam along with other Human Rights activist. The other ideas covered in the conversation were challenges from home and the church, challenges in attracting youth for Human Rights programme, application of theology (the church’s teaching) in social justice work, importance of leadership and ideas on movement building. The discussion was fruitful in understanding the challenges of Human Rights, inspiring the DBYS team to work towards social issues in India. The meet also helped in working out a methodology to involve youth in social political sphere for awareness and action oriented activities. Towards the end of the meeting both the groups decided to be in solidarity with each other and share resources to work towards building awareness on Human Rights.
Growing up in a Christian environment, I never came across the Qur’an in my childhood. But this changed when I went to a Muslim country as a young adult to teach English. Having moved into a Muslim environment, I began to hear the regular call to prayer and to hear the sound of the Qur’an being chanted in the mosques. I became curious to know more about its message. Whenever I read the Qur’an in English, however, I wondered how this complex text was able to touch the hearts of so many people.
We the Pax Romana family would like to extend our solidarity to all the brave protesters of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. In the protest of recent days which led from the build up in the past weeks, we are inspired to see peoples of different classes and even nationality gather as a sign of protest against the anti democratic policies as imposed by the China government. Being inspired by the students and intellectual movement ourselves, we are particularly inspired by the student movements of Hong Kong who bravely took part in the protest despite knowing the risks of violent reprisals from the authorities.
This document reflects the opinions of the members of the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development in Vienna on the most pressing challenges the world is facing. The nexus between urgent issues to be solved and suggestions for strategies to secure progress towards achieving the objectives are briefly touched upon. Those objectives need to be defined in terms of concrete targets in the new sustainable development goals (SDGs). For the most important strategic fields, targets should be set that take into account their potential for realisation, and the social multiplier effects should be identified. Over the long term education is considered to be key to achieving a better world. All the other important strategies hinge critically on the ability and willingness of the international community to introduce the necessary reforms; this implies designing and implementing intelligent measures. Every effort will have to be made to overcome numerous obstacles and address many challenges. The strategies to be followed are interlinked and their mutual influences have to be taken into account before designing concrete measures in order to avoid possible counter-productive effects. Among the most important strategies are institutional and legal reforms, technical and social innovation, the introduction of effective incentive systems and the protection and enhancement of our common resource base so as to secure fair access for all. Basic tenet: The primary objective is the attainment of human rights and a better life for all, with sustainable development as the strategic means for achieving that goal.
Let me give you information in brief of what are the topics I have dealt with in the recent month that concern the social responsibility of Catholic intellectuals. A summary of some papers of mine is to indicate that I am prepared to follow structured discussion on these, and related subjects. These pieces of publication are in Hungarian. I shall still be glad to switch over the English if there is an opportunity to take part in discussion at the international fora of Pax Romana.
The cornerstones of this paper are the strong statements of the pope made in Evangelii gaudium. They are: “.. desidero una Chiesa povera per i poveri.”,
Hungarian universities and Hungarian civil society have been currently in a special case, suffocating under the pressure of arbitrary government intervention and centralisation of political power. About the reaction of Hungarian churches to our problems, I can tell you, that we cannot experience any sympathy or understanding from them as institutions.
In extending to you the Holy See’s congratulations on your election to the presidency of the sixty-ninth Session of the General Assembly, I wish to convey the cordial greetings of His Holiness Pope Francis to you and to all the participating delegations. He assures you of his closeness and prayers for the work of this session of the General Assembly, with the hope that it will be carried out in an atmosphere of productive collaboration, working for a more fraternal and united world by identifying ways to resolve the serious problems which beset the whole human family today.
In continuity with his predecessors, Pope Francis recently reiterated the Holy See’s esteem and appreciation for the United Nations as an indispensable means of building an authentic family of peoples.
A group of Vidyajyoti students met with Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood for a theological interaction. Dr Mahmood is the founder president of Zakat Foundation of India [www.zakatindia.org], Interfaith Coalition for Peace [www.icpindia.org], Iqbal Academy India [www.iqbalindia.org] and God's Grace Group of Educational Institutions. He graciously gave us time and shared with us his faith based reflection on Islam and Muslims in India.
General understanding of Islam
The conversation began with Dr Mahmood asking the audience as to what they understood as Islam. They talked about Islamic worship, to acknowledge Allah as One God, the Creator and Judge, the Only One who is worthy of worship. Every Muslim is commanded to pay attention to 'Islam' (submission), external acts, obeying what God has commanded; 'Iman' (faith): more interior, believing in what God has taught; and, Ihsan (extra-goodness) or islah (self-correction) interiorizing the divine commands so that they give shape and expression to an upright, good life– going beyond the minimum to integrate all that God has revealed and commanded into every aspect of one’s behavior.
The five pillars
The Hungarian government reduced the budget of higher education to its half during the last 5 years and failed to elaborate a stable and predictable financing system. In 2013, the Hungarian national budget spent only 0,43 % of the GDP to higher education – instead of 1% according to the recommendations of EU. The government strongly restricts academic autonomy and obliges financially vulnerable university managements to background bargaining and lobbying. The Prime Minister personally appoints chancellors beside rectors and thus can directly interfere with the management of universities. The government also threatens the independent functioning of the Hungarian Accreditation Committee thus discrediting quality assessment and hampering the international recognition of our universities. The teaching staff suffered essential losses due to forced retirement and dismissal caused by financial restrictions: as a result, the workload of the remaining active academic staff has greatly increased while their salaries remain extremely low compared to European standards.
The pope François will be in Strasbourg on November 25th. He will pronounce a speech in front of the European Parliament and in front of the Council of Europe.
New York no longer has a choice: it will either drown or must redesign itself. In response to the passage of Hurricane Irene and Sandy in 2011 and 2012, public authorities must prepare city-dwellers for the effects of upcoming climate disturbance and especially the rise of sea levels. They have to face the need to slow down the intrusion of seawater and fend off flooding facilitated by the grid pattern of streets. After having purchased wetlands to secure drinking water, the city now seeks to adapt itself by natural means to the impacts of Climate Change. Intense efforts now link decision makers, urban planners, architects, naturalists, and associations in order to ameliorate the city’s resilience while improving quality of life and rebuilding social cohesion.
On Saturday, September 20th, 2014, Pope François appointed Mgr. Paolo RUDELLI to represent him to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg as special correspondent and permanent observer of the Holy See.
Pakistan jointly celebrated the International Peace Day in Sacred Heart Parish Sahiwal. Fr. Raphael Mehnga led the event and offered prayers for the peace in whole world. SundaySchools kids sung the peace Songs and made the Peace sign.
This year 14 National Organisation’s represantatives were present, from which 11 with voting rights and representatives from the European Youth Forum, the Secretary General and the Program Coordinator of International Young Catholic Students (IYCS) and the Secretary General of the International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS).
Our dear friend Ghulam Rasool, a Delhi based writer is a graduate from a Sufi Islamic seminary. He works at Madrasa Hazarat Nizamudin Auliya as Arabic teacher. He invited sometime ago some of us from Vidyajyoti to visit him and his students for a session of conversation on faith: faith of Muslims and Christians. He was keen to help the post graduate level students of his institute to relate with and to share and learn from Christians. We four of us from Vidyajyoti reached a place where we were to meet Ghulam bhai. Ghulam bhai appeared with a student of his madrasa and walked us to the madrasa.
To our surprise and joy, we found there were around 50 students waiting for us in the Hall. It is important to say who these students are.