KASAMA Vol. 15 No. 2 / April–May–June 2001 / Solidarity Philippines Australia Network
The "Running Priest" and Third World Debt
One of the great moral issues that Father Reyes is concerned about is third world debt. His own country the Philippines spends up to 40% of its income on servicing its debts, which means that millions of Filipinos die from hunger-related diseases, lack of medicines or are reduced to grinding poverty. This disturbs Father Robert and he is very strong in his criticism of the rich world, which he says plays deaf to the cries of the poor around the world.
Every year, 7 million children under the age of 5 will die from preventable diseases because the debts of their countries have to be paid first. This situation is morally unacceptable.
In our world today, there is no reason why any man, woman or child should have to go to bed hungry, not have clean water, basic medicines, education or housing. There are enough resources to make this happen. The fact that it is not happening and the fact that the gap between the rich and the poor is daily getting wider challenges the rich world to share the wealth of this planet, which in the plan of the Creator belongs to all and not just the privileged few.
The first step, he continues, in righting this wrong and to bring about a more equitable and just world is the cancellation of the unpayable debts of the poorest countries. Hence the event "Run for Life-Drop the Debt."
The only thing that is really lacking is the political will to make it happen. The Jubilee Year was targeted by Pope John Paul II and other prominent people as an appropriate time for this to happen, but little real cancellation occurred.
The lack of compassion and basic justice by the leaders of the rich nations has fired up even more the supporters of the Jubilee Network in 65 countries to work much harder to bring about debt cancellation.
Australian groups, lobbying over the past number of years, are continuing to bring pressure on the Australian Government and relevant international institutions to cancel the debts of the poorest nations.
In solidarity with all of these nations, and in particular the Philippines, this event "Run for Life- Drop the Debt" is being organized. Father Robert will start the "Run" in the Philippines and finish in Australia. We hope that this event in 10 major cities in Australia will give an opportunity for all Australians to raise their voices on behalf of the poorest of our brothers and sisters around the world. The evil of poverty will grow if good people will do nothing.
Fr. Reyes will run in 10 major cities over a period of 35 days from August 19 to September 23, 2001.
Brisbane … August
19 – 22
Darwin … August 23 - 25
Perth … August 26 - 29
Adelaide … August 30 – September 1
Hobart … September 2 - 4
Melbourne … September 5 - 9
Albury/Wodonga … September 10 - 12
Canberra … September 13 - 16
Woolongong … September 17 - 19
Sydney … September 20 - 23
FOR DETAILS OF THE BRISBANE ITINERARY
Peter Arndt (CJPC) or Dee Hunt (CPCA/SPAN),
Justice Place, 84 Park Road,
Woolloongabba Qld 4102
Phone (07) 3891 5911 or Fax: (07) 3891 6944
Fr. Robert’s Run in Brisbane is sponsored by:
Columban Mission Society
Australian Coalition for Economic Justice
Catholic Justice and Peace Commission
Solidarity Philippines Australia Network
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE NATIONAL
ITINERARY AND THE LATEST UPDATES
VISIT THE RUNNING PRIEST WEB SITE http://www.runningpriest.com
Or contact Fr Brian Gore
Phone: (02) 9488 8844