Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 24, 2002
Advocate fears 'globalized barbarism'
Aid agency head says 'culture of death' is well organized
By ART BABYCH
"Those of us who believe in a civilization of love must get our act together."
- Duncan MacLaren
More money is being spent on weapons than on development and more money is being spent on war rather than on peace, he said.
"Two thirds of the conflicts which beset our world nowadays are identity conflicts caused, not by one country invading another, but by people of a different ethnic, religious or linguistic group attacking another," said MacLaren.
"In these conflicts, 90 per cent of the victims are no longer combatants but civilians - especially women and children - and as Caritas we've seen our development efforts in countries like Rwanda and Bosnia destroyed because one neighbour killed another. We've seen communities that we've tried to assist in economic and social ways slaughter one another."
Caritas Internationalis - next to the Red Cross - is the largest humanitarian network in the world and operates in more than 150 countries. CCODP is the Canadian member of the organization.
MacLaren said the Church cannot ignore "the globalization phenomenon" nor should it be afraid of it. As Pope John Paul has said, globalization is neither good nor bad but what people make it.
MacLaren also congratulated CCODP saying its program is "a concerted effort to make solidarity real and not a cliche as it very often is."
In a CCN interview, MacLaren said Catholics are taught that supporting the poor is part of being a Christian and are continuing to support the work of Caritas throughout the world.
"What they are a bit more reluctant to do, however, is to get involved in the advocacy work - everything from writing letters to the prime minister, to getting involved in cancellation of the debt campaigns for example," he said. "They don't really see that they should have the same commitment to that kind of work as they do to giving money.
"What we're saying is you have to do both to fulfill your moral commitment to serve the poor and that the advocacy role these days is just as important as giving money.
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