The Columban Missionary Society in Britain, a Catholic order, has declared its support for Occupy London Stock Exchange, which currently faces eviction.
Columban Peter Hughes, coordinator of the Columban Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) office, explained: “Columbans agree with the protestors that our current economic system is unsustainable and unjust and we need alternatives. We agree with them that structural change is necessary towards authentic global equality. The world’s resources must go towards caring for people and the planet, not the military, corporate profits or the rich.”
The Columbans say they feel that the protesters have opened up a vital debate on "the paradigm shift necessary to build a more sustainable and just world".
This is in line with the mission statement of the Columban missionaries in Britain which urges action in solidarity with the poor and the exploited earth for justice, peace and the integrity of creation.
The Columbans also affirm the Occupy movement’s peaceful and non-hierarchical quality.
Columban JPIC participated in the open forum day of the National Justice and Peace Network on 19 November 2011, which examined alternatives to the prevailing economic model.
Ellen Teague of Columban JPIC pointed to the document ‘The Green New Deal’ published in 2008 by the New Economics Foundation which urged major structural changes to national and international financial systems, including taxation, and sustained investment in energy conservation and renewable energy generation.
The Christian think-tank Ekklesia has also commended the 'Green New Deal', which is supported by people from several parties and none, and the work of NEF.
Well-known Columban theologian Sean McDonagh will be attending the United Nations climate conference in Durban this week.
The Columbans say they feel that national governments, including the British government, should work towards delivering a fair and equitable international climate agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.
They should give poor countries the opportunity to escape poverty without fueling global warming by urgently providing adequate finance for investment in Climate Change mitigation and adaptation, as well as renewable energy, says the Catholic order.
* Missionary Society of St Columban: http://columban.org/