Jubilee Sunday focuses congregations on importance of international debt cancellation

As the global financial crisis continues to slow economic recovery, the campaign to eliminate the debt that developing countries owe to major financial institutions moves to local parishes and congregations Oct. 15-16.

Jubilee Sunday, sponsored by the Jubilee USA Network, will find faith communities praying for a just resolution to the debt crisis poor
countries face.

Educational programs about the impact of the debt owed by poor and developing countries and to call for cancellation of that debt also are being planned, Jeremy Weyl, outreach and congregations fellow at Jubilee USA Network, told Catholic News Service.

The program is based on the biblical concept of jubilee where debts are forgiven and slates are wiped clean, allowing for a new beginning for all partners.

The weekend of events and prayers close Illegitimate Debt Week, which finds organizations around the world and in the United States focusing on the reform of international financial institutions.

Jubilee USA Network has developed a resource guide for congregations to use. It includes prayers, homily tips, Sunday school programs and additional action steps.

Weyl said his organization also is working to get the Jubilee Act reintroduced in Congress. The text of the bill introduced in the last Congress can be seen here.

The legislation calls for an expansion of debt cancellation and would require greater responsibility in lending at those international financial institutions in which the U.S. plays a key role.

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