Today I have received official confirmation of Cardinal Peter Turkson’s participation as the keynote speaker at the Creatio Conference to be held during World Youth Day in Rio 2013. Cardinal Turkson is the President for the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, and represents the Holy See on issues that concern the environment. Creatio is delighted and honored to have the Cardinal’s participation. Cardinal Turkson has given several speeches on related themes, such as a recent one here on the encyclical Pacem in Terris:
Allow me to share my own experiences too. While Archbishop of Cape Coast, I chaired Ghana’s National Peace Council. My beliefs in the deep yearning of all people for dignity, respect and peace were essential to how I led this group. We were involved in a wide variety of issues, but none more difficult than the tense national elections in late 2008. We did not judge or criticize or pick sides. We constantly brought stakeholders together for dialogue and kept communication lines open. I have been assured that we played a major role in achieving social peace during this period….
However, a Pope or Cardinal is not exclusively a crisis-intervener on the world stage. A more typical role, and just as crucial, is to keep reminding the world of the deepest truths. For example, in September 2010, I led the delegation of the Holy See to the UN to discuss the Millennium Development Goals and the chance of attaining the goal of eliminating global poverty by 2015. Curiously, some of the methods of the anti-poverty campaign tended to target the poor in ways that suggest that the solution to global poverty is to eliminate the poor. The delegation of the Holy See intervened vigorously. Reflecting on human dignity and personhood, we reminded the assembly that combating poverty requires investments in the resourcefulness of the poor, making them protagonists in their emergence out of poverty, and not eliminating them. The poor need education to transform them from dependency to resourcefulness.
Finally, other Creatio members are making their way to Brazil already. Kelsey Teran, trip leader and communications adviser is in Chile working with education, see this article here.