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.

     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. 

From freedom to security

The leading value put forward by politicians today is not freedom but rather security. The world, value systems, society, health, culture – all of these are portrayed as vulnerable and open to attack, and are therefore perceived as such.

This reality is concocted by the media, which have their agendas of economic and political interests, fuelled by daily rations of shock, horror, fear and vulnerability.

 

Yet “freedom”, not “security”, is the message that the major religions of the world are putting forward, namely their vision of “what is still possible”. This is the message that religious representatives should be proclaiming, whether or not the timing is right.

Understanding fear: moral panic

In attached file, the Siiaec report

In attached file, the European report

 

Opening session

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Study session

The North America region of ICMCIA/MIIC is pleased to present this brief report for the Assembly. We look forward to taking the next steps to renew this region in the coming years. We hope that this Assembly will help to guide some of our questions as we move forward (see challenges).

A. Mobilizing Communities of Young Professionals

Over the past four years, we have prioritized outreach to young professionals.  Our focus has been on engaging both young professionals and young lay theologians (see list of events). As a movement, we have organized or co-sponsored several events related to this effort. Kevin Ahern has visited existing communities in, Boston and Washington and has tried to establish or connect with new communities in New York, Toronto, Denver, and other cities. He has also worked on the board of several national organizations dealing with this question. These include: the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, America Media (Jesuits), Daily Theology, and the Church in the 21st Century Center of Boston College. In 2015, Kevin was asked to lead a session on young professionals in the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’s conference on the 50th Anniversary of Guadium et Spes.

This draft strategic plan includes:

- long term guidelines

- plan of action for the year 2017.

These documents will be discussed during the statutory session in Barcelona.