Argentine bishop likes global poverty initiative

Bishop Fernando Bargallo of Moreno is pictured this week during the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington. (CNS/Bob Roller)

Bishop Fernando Marie Bargallo (CNS/Bob Roller)

Argentine Bishop Fernando Marie Bargallo of Merlo-Moreno was pleased to see the relaunch of the Catholics Confront Global Poverty initiative yesterday during the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington.

As bishop of a diocese in the suburbs of Buenos Aries where one-third of the people live in poverty, Bishop Bargallo said the effort will help people “understand the situation of the poor.”

“It is an important stimulus for us to see that the Catholic Church in the United States has an open mind and an open heart to commit herself to fight against poverty, recognizing another world is possible,” Bishop Bargallo told Catholic News Service.

“Sometimes we have the temptation to think that poverty is a reality that cannot be beaten,” he said. “But when you open your mind and heart you discover that there is an ethical imperative that pushes yourself as a person, your family, your nation, to discover that you cannot live isolated from all human beings, that we share the same home, the same planet.”

A joint project between Catholic Relief Services and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the initiative is seeking 1 million Catholics to join the effort, which is designed to show that the difficulties Americans are facing during the current economic crisis are intricately intertwined with the plight of poor people around the world.

Both agencies have worked together to relieve global poverty over the years but see new opportunities to implement initiatives that promote human development under a new Congress and a new administration.

The effort also will work with Catholic Charities USA’s poverty campaign showing the connection between the needs of the poor in the U.S. and around the world.

The initiative went live with a new Web site as well. More information can be found at www.usccb.org/globalpoverty and www.crs.org/globalpoverty.

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