- Trying to square the circle
The opening days of the Synod on the Family have revealed distinct differences of opinion between the participants. How can their commitment to church teaching be matched with compassion for those who struggle with it?
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Tom Clarke MP (“Get writing”, The Tablet, 19 April), offers that we should write to our MPs in order to further those aid issues that should be relevant to Cafod.
Cafod and Christian Aid, however, are members of the UK Food Group and seem to have their eyes fixed on the guiding hand of environmentalism rather than the Church. Both organisations produced pamphlets to mark the latest reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, AR5), namely (“What have we done?”, Cafod), and (“Taken by storm”, Christian Aid). Both pamphlets make claims which are not supported by the IPCC and are to be seen more as propaganda rather than any help to the Christian community. The issue of Climate Change requires balanced summary as the emphasis of action shifts from knee-jerk mitigation to timely adaptation.
Tom Clarke’s list of issues could just as well have been written by Greenpeace. None concerns matters of immediate help to the poor of the world such as food supply and health. Cafod do not campaign on the issue of Golden Rice as a way to limit vitamin-A deficiency in children. Who noticed the photograph of Pope Francis blessing a sample of this rice last year? Where is the campaign in support of Shale–Gas development to bring down the price of energy and food? Heaven knows what relief could be brought to the tensions in the Middle East by a lower emphasis on oil.
The Christian community needs to lead these aid agencies, and not Friends of the Earth. This requires being better informed so rather than writing get reading!
Dr Michael Hughes, Newbury