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Catholics Confront Global Poverty

Catholics Confront Global Povertycalls on Catholics to defend the life and dignity of people living in poverty throughout the world.

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  • Letter of Solidarity to Cardinal Sfeir on Murder of Lebanon's Former Prime Minister
  • Letter to President Clinton Concerning Lebanon and The Peace Process
  • Lebanon After the Israeli Withdrawal
  • Address of His Eminence Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir Beirut, Lebanon
  • Who are Christians in the Middle East?


    International Justice and Peace


    The New Evangelization calls on every baptized person to be a peacemaker. - Pope Francis

    Mission & Identity

    The Office of International Justice & Peace is an office of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development.

    The Office of International Justice & Peace assists the bishops in advancing the social mission of the Church, especially in its advocacy for policies that advance justice, defend human dignity and protect poor and vulnerable communities around the world.


    Happening Now

    Bishop Richard E. Pates and Dr. Carolyn Woo write to Congress to urge appropriate funding of the poverty-focused and humanitarian accounts in the fiscal year 2015 appropriations.

    The President of the USCCB, Archbishop Kurtz, and Bishop Pates have written President Obama to affirm his administration’s efforts to reach a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In their letter, they reiterate the USCCB’s longstanding commitment to a two-state solution to the conflict as well as support of U.S. leadership for peace. They also mention their efforts to urge the U.S. Catholic community to pray and act in support of peace in the region.

    In a letter to Senate Judiciary leaders, Bishop Pates and Southern Baptist leadership urge the Senate to pass bill S. 653. This bill will create a Special Envoy to protect the rights of religious minorities abroad, including Christians.


    The USCCB is attentively following the situation in Ukraine. The President of the USCCB, Archbishop Kurtz, has issued a statement calling on Catholics to pray for a peaceful resolution of the crisis there.

    Bishop Pates asks the U.S. Catholic community to pray and act in support of peace in the Holy Land this Lent. Now is the time to redouble our prayerful efforts as Secretary of State John Kerry works to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Read Bishop Pates' letter, pray and get involved by visiting our Israel-Palestine page.

    IJP: Working on the Margins

    Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts
    33 leaders of Jewish, Christian and Muslim national organizations have spoken to the importance of support from religious communities in achieving a two-state peace agreement between Israel and Palestine. In a February 28 letter to Secretary of State Kerry, the leaders called a two-state peace agreement "the only realistic resolution of the conflict."

    Conflict in South Sudan
    The USCCB is following the crisis affecting the people of South Sudan. On February 19, Bishop Pates wrote a letter of solidarity to the Church in Sudan. He also sent a letter to National Security Advisor Rice to encourage U.S. support for civil society, churches and a free press in South Sudan as they work to rebuild there.

    In a letter to National Security Advisor Rice, Bishop Pates urges the Administration to exercise leadership by signing and ratifying the Mine Ban Treaty. The Church calls for a ban on landmines, which cause indiscriminate, irreparable and long-term harm.

    Religious Freedom
    On February 7, USCCB International Justice & Peace Chairman Bishop Pates offered remarks during a Congressional Briefing on International Religious Freedom.

    USCCB to Secretary of State on Israeli Confiscation of Palestinian Lands
    In a letter to the U.S. Secretary of State, Bishop Pates asks Secretary Kerry to urge the Government of Israel to "cease and desist in its efforts to unnecessarily confiscate Palestinian lands in the Occupied West Bank."

    In a letter to Congressional leadership, Bishop Pates encourages Congress to pursue the path of engagement and negotiation with Iran in order to pursue a resolution to concerns over Iran's nuclear program.

    Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)
    In a letter to Congress, Archbishop Wenski and Bishop Pates offer principles to consider should the TPP agreement be presented to Congress for ratification. The bishops stress the principles of human life and dignity, and urge Congress to consider the importance of labor protections, indigenous communities, migration, agriculture and sustainable development along with other key principles of Catholic social teaching.

    Mexico and the United States

    In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, Archbishop Wenski and Bishop Pates have said that in U.S. efforts to promote security in Mexico, overemphasis on military engagement is counterproductive and that greater emphasis should be placed on equitable development.

    More International Issues

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