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In view of the current social and political situation that is happening in Catalonia, the entities that are part of PAX ROMANA Catalonia want to express:
1. Our concern and total rejection of the violent police actions of October 1, as well as the condemnation of the legal and criminal prosecution of persons and entities due to political ideology; in particular our condemnation to the imprisonment of social leaders, which have occurred in recent days, for these reasons.
2. Our firm commitment to the defense of human rights and basic freedoms such as ideological freedom, expression and political and secret political participation, which must be safeguarded by legality and the rule of law.
I am not a theologian nor a reproductive health expert. I am merely a lay woman, a member of the Catholic church in Sri Lanka, responding to recent articles published by members of my own religious community regarding the bill to expand safe abortion provisions. This article is written for the sake of balanced perspective and healthy, constructive debate within our community. We must take a step back and look at exactly whose lives we are protecting with our attitudes towards this bill.
Please find enclosed the Recommendation 2105 (2017) adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on ‘Promoting integrity in governance to tackle political corruption’.
In its opinion on the draft law on anti-corruption courts in Ukraine adopted today, the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the “Venice Commission”) said that many of the provisions of the draft law provide a good basis for the establishment of a high specialised anti-corruption court, but made several recommendations to reduce the risk that it could be considered unconstitutional. In order to dispel any doubts about the constitutionality of the legislative procedure, the Venice Commission invites the President of Ukraine to promptly submit his own draft law on anti-corruption courts – which should be based on the Venice Commission’s recommendations. The current draft law (Draft Law No. 6011) thus needs to be withdrawn.
In an opinion adopted today, the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the “Venice Commission”) assessed the extent to which Turkey’s Emergency Decree Laws – passed in the wake of the failed 2016 coup attempt – include measures that go beyond what is permitted by international standards and the Turkish constitution.
As stated in previous opinions regarding these laws, the Venice Commission again acknowledges the need for certain extraordinary steps taken by Turkish authorities to face a dangerous armed conspiracy.
However, as highlighted in previous opinions – the Turkish authorities have interpreted these extraordinary powers too extensively.
You will find attached below the text (in french only) of the conference which Mgr. Kratz made for the Conference of the Bishops of France with French committed to an international level.
After a brief introduction reminding the "miracle" of the creation of the European Union he asks several questions:
He ends finally by " some reflections on the COMECE " of which members reflect the essential diversity of the peoples and the cultures of Europe.
An effort to promote peace in Pakistan starts at Convent of Jesus and Mary –Lahore through the peace cranes which carry the message of peace, love, friendship, hope, light, laughter, kind deeds and a life time bond with human kind.
On, 21st September 2017, Matric Section commemorated International Day of Peace to create awareness on the importance of peace in this unrest and demanding world. Through this celebration children learnt to connect with themselves and discovered the power of peace. An angelic choir started off with the hymn “Make me an instrument of your peace” a prayer by St. Francis of Assisi – it is a part of daily routine to start our day. A projection of Peace Art Work and peace building activities were the anchor of this day. A candle was lit by Sr. Mari Puy RJM (Spain) Headmistress, Sr. Clara Hussain, Sr. Samina David along with the students, so the warmth instill in them and light always shine through these bright faces.
Latin America has an important history of cultural and ethnical diversity. Original people (or first Nations) were diverse before the European invasion and had developed important cultural alternatives in order to establish good relationships between different groups. That does not mean that everything was peace, but that they highly valorized differences and could learn ones from the others. For example, Andean people (nowadays from Peru, Bolivia, Equator, Colombia, Chile) build their civilization taking advantage of diversity instead of trying to standardize everything. In that way, they could develop agriculture in the very hard environmental conditions of the Andes.
On 10 October 2017, the Conference of INGOs, in collaboration with the International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT), one of its members, is organising a debate entitled: "Return of the death penalty in Europe: genuine threat or populist fiction?", aimed at strengthening and better coordinating the fight against the threat of a return of the death penalty in Europe.
The Conference of INGOs remains convinced that the death penalty is not the solution and that the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) as well as its additional Protocols 6 and 13 should be defended in all circumstances.
Please register by 5 October 2017 using the online registration form. Participation is subject to the number of available places.
Following the publication of the legal opinion (n° NGO-POL/303/2017 [AIC]) of OSCE/ODIHR on the draft Act on the National Freedom Institute - Centre for the Development of Civil Society, the Conference of INGOs reiterates its concern in a letter to the Polish authorities
The Committee of Ministers today adopted guidelines aimed at promoting civil participation in political decision-making in the Council of Europe 47 member states.
The Committee of Ministers today adopted guidelines aimed at promoting civil participation in political decision-making in the Council of Europe 47 member states. At a time when democracy is challenged by diminishing trust of people towards politicians and elites in general, one of the prerequisites for guaranteeing democratic security is to ensure the participation of all individuals and societal groups in political processes and decision-making.
The new guidelines together with other existing texts such as Recommendation (2007)14 on the legal status of non-governmental organisations in Europe and the Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Processnow form a solid basis for governments and civil society to work together to strengthen democracy.
The Council of Europe and civil society already interact through the Conference of INGOs which promotes participatory democracy and provides input to the decisions taken at inter-governmental level.
The preparation of this unique standard-setting instrument was recommended by Secretary General Jagland in his 2015 report on the State of Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Europe.
The 2017 World Forum for Democracy will focus on the role of political parties and media in the context of rising populism. A growing disconnect between citizens and political elites and dramatic changes in the media ecosystem are a challenge for democracy as we know it. New political and media actors and practices are emerging, offering opportunities for direct, unmediated engagement of the public, unbound by ethical or institutional safeguards. How can pluralism, freedom of expression, and fair and evidence-based public debate be safeguarded in these new conditions? How to nourish political culture which embraces a long-term perspective and resists the excesses of populism?
Read more: Concept paper
40 YEARS OF DIALOGUE BETWEEN CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE: LOOKING BACK BUT MOVING FORWARD
Among the many varied debates organised during the week, some of the highlights were:
(Re full text in attachment)
From Crux Staff July 23, 2017
On the heels of one controversial Vatican article alleging an “ecumenism of hate” between conservative Evangelicals and Catholics in America, another potential eyebrow-raiser emerged Saturday claiming that the “main obstacle” to implementing Pope Francis’s vision is “closure, if not hostility” from “a good part of the clergy, at levels both high and low.”
The term “high and low” suggests the author had in mind clergy ranging from senior bishops to ordinary parish priests. “The clergy is holding the people back, who should instead be accompanied in this extraordinary moment,” said the article by Italian Father Giulio Cirignano, a native of Florence and a longtime Scripture scholar at the Theological Faculty of Central Italy.
Meeting from January 23rd to 27th, 2017 in Strasbourg, the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe brought together some 300 INGO delegates, experts, parliamentarians and permanent representatives of Council of Europe member states who discussed several major issues of concern today :
On November 251h and 261h of this year, 2016, the Joan Maragall Foundation - a Barcelona center dedicated to the dialogue between faith and culture - and Obra Social "La Caixa" organized the International Symposium "State and religion and their relationship in today's pluralistic democracies" at the Palau Macaya. This event completed the reflection that the Joan Maragall Board of Trustees has dedicated to a topic that has lately been the object of their concern.
With this symposium, the Joan Maragall Foundation and the Palau Macaya intend to encourage debate and reflection on today's challenges for religion and the emergence of religious pluralism in democratic societies today, especially in Europe.
If I were to indicate what feeling prevails today in western societies, I'd say fear. Often unacknowledged or exorcised through displays of security and strength, fear hides in the thoughts of many people, in the decisions of entire populations, in turn back to ideologies that we thought were no longer occupy the scenario of our countries. Afraid, we try to give a name to identify an enemy to fight and to whom to attribute the faults of many social problems that we cannot solve. This enemy is identified as external to us: the Isis, monster that creates cruel children also in our well-ordered society; foreign, invading our lands and feeding new social tensions; European bureaucracy which oppresses our lives with rules made to limit our freedom.
Exorcising mercy almost a year ago, Pope Francis launched the Jubilee of Mercy, with the aim of helping us to experience mercy, both the mercy which all of us need to receive from God and the mercy we must show towards all those overwhelmed by suffering.
But there are some words which are traitorous: words that though they mean positive and good things, sound bad, at least to some people. One of these words is mercy. Is mercy a weakness? Nietzsche said, ‘I do not like the merciful who feel blessed in their pity”. And maybe modern man feels too self-sufficient.
Merry Christmas 2016 and Happy New Year 2017.
We hope that next year will be economically, socially and politically better. In Indonesia, the group of the Muslim extremists have shown an anti christian attitude. Recently there was a large demonstration opposing the major of Jakarta, who will run for the next period governor post. It was the biggest demonstration ever made in Jakarta.
Fortunately the government of Indonesia under Jokowi presidency is firmly protecting the rights of minority, which is written in the constitution. It has been found several bombs intended to be used for the churches at the Christmas nights. It was fortunate that the polices have been continuously agile and speedily acting to capture the extremist groups.
But in reality, the majority of the population are not against the Christians, but the small extremists have their network and means to act. Some of them have been trained in the Middle East, the ISIS group.
I hope that French and all European Christian countries are protected by the God's mercy.
Since June 2015, I have been a member of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) of the DRC. I had the privilege of having been appointed by the civil society organisations working in the civic and electoral education for a non-renewable six-year term Our main challenge, as a member of CENI, is to organise fair and transparent elections at local, provincial and national levels. In particular, I am in charge of following up the youth, persons living with disabilities and indigenous populations.