Father Joe Ryan, Chair of Westminster Justice and Peace, gave the keynote talk at the Commission’s Open Meeting, speaking about his recent pilgrimage to El Salvador, on 22nd January at St John Vianney, West Green.
Archbishop Oscar Romero was murdered in 1980 because he was outspoken about the government’s oppression of peasants. Father Joe recalled other tragic events too: namely that in the same era Father Rutilio Grande and six Jesuit priests and their housekeeper, were also killed, for their support of the poor. Bringing events up-to-date, he reported the lack of information surrounding the recent closure of the Human Rights Centre, Tutela Legal.
The Open Meeting provided an opportunity to hear from Justice & Peace groups around the diocese and was attended by more than 50 people. Sacred Heart, Ware, in particular, was recognised for its achievement of the LiveSimply Award which commends parishes for putting into practice the three Christian values of living simply; in solidarity with people in poverty; and sustainably with creation. The evening also included a blind Fairtrade tea and coffee tasting gave the chance to decide on the merits of Fairtrade and non-FT brews. All were invited to the diocesan Fairtrade Celebration on March 1st.