The National Catholic Reporter cites Eric LeCompte on the Pope's message on ecological and economic themes in the recent Amazon Synod. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.
Crux features Eric LeCompte's thoughts on the recent Amazon Synod and the Pope's economic and ecological message. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.
Activist says idea of ‘ecological sin’ boils down to, ‘We consume too much'
NEW YORK - In recent years, Jubilee USA Network has won more than $130 billion in debt relief for some of the poorest countries around the globe inspired by Pope Saint John Paul II’s Jubilee Year call to stand in solidarity with the world’s poor.
Now, executive director Eric LeCompte is hoping Pope Francis’s Synod on the Amazon will help further galvanize Catholics in the U.S. to turn their attention to a region he believes has been in part degraded by American policies.
In an interview with Crux, LeCompte described why he believes the focus of the Amazon Synod shouldn’t be on married priests or women, but rather on the pope’s economic and ecological message.
Crux: Much of the focus on the synod has been on married priests and women deacons, but you’re concerned that the pope’s economic and ecological message is overshadowed. How so?
LeCompte: When we see CNN or read USA Today, we are led to believe that the synod was entirely about married priests and women deacons. Married priests and the diaconate are only a small focus in this document.
We should not forget that the synod primarily moves forward an Amazon rite, and like other rites that are in communion with Rome, we see married priests that help fulfill their people’s spiritual needs. There is also an unsaid reality that in the deep, hard to reach places of the Amazon, married priests may already exist.
But in a synod squarely focused on the Amazon, ministerial shifts for the Amazon are in part about servicing people so their economic needs are met and their human rights are protected. We read the final document and of the 33 pages, ministerial shifts are only a few lines.
What we see when we read the document, is a strong focus to protect indigenous communities, human rights defenders and our planet. Perhaps the strongest message in the final document, that the mainstream media kicked aside, is that many of the regional and global challenges we do have in common, is that we are all consuming too much.
The final document has some strong language about ecological sin? What does that mean to you?
We can boil down the synod’s message simply to: we are consuming too much.
Whether we live in the Amazon or the United States of America, we all are consuming too much. It’s a tough message and it may be the closest the Catholic Church has ever gotten to the concept of social sin, that as an entire society - our level of consumption is sinful. Our level of consumption is hurting our planet, depriving the poor and disconnecting us from one another. While this is a regional document, it gets pretty specific on the idea of ecological sin. The document not only encourages us to check our addiction on fossil fuels, but even specifically challenges us to consume less meat.
The final document also calls for new models of “fair, solidarity, and sustainable development.” In what ways do you believe the U.S. is responsible for the degradation in the Amazon?
In the Holy Father’s homily at the closing Mass of the synod, he lifted one of the concepts most important to him. We must stop predatory development models in the Amazon. These are models that exploit the people of the Amazon and take their resources while benefiting foreigners.
Many U.S. corporations are notorious for land grabs and taking resources in ways that do violence to the Amazon’s communities and ecosystems. Trade agreements with the United States protect U.S. corporations when they do harm in the Amazon. The World Bank does development by giving loans for the extraction of natural resources. Some communities in the Amazon participate in these abuses too, some because their lives depend on it and others for exploiting profit.
In what practical ways do you think the synod can help the U.S. Church?
Because we are talking about an Amazon rite, I doubt in the U.S. Church we’ll see married priests as a solution to our priest shortage anytime soon. One of the global aspects though, is that the Holy See is reopening the global conversation on a diaconate that includes women. That conversation could help fulfill some of the religious needs of our U.S. communities.
If we read the 33-page outcome document of the synod, the message ultimately is that we all deserve to live in a world where we have enough, and not too much. It’s this message that can help us in the United States be in closer communion with one another, in solidarity with people fighting for survival in the Amazon and closer to our loving God.
Read more here.
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Agence France-Presse cites Eric LeCompte on the Corporate Transparency Act 2019 after it passed through the House this week. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.
US House approves bill exposing shell company owners
Washington DC - The House of Representatives passed the Corporate Transparency Act of 2019 (H.R. 2513) by a 249 to 173 vote. The bill reveals the true owners of "anonymous" shell companies to law enforcement.
"This legislation stops human traffickers, corrupt government officials and revenue loss in the developing world,” noted Eric LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert and the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA. “The Senate must now pass this vital legislation."
The bill now heads to the Senate, where Senators could likely move this bill or similar legislation. The White House and US Treasury pledge support for this type of legislation.
Washington DC - The House of Representatives scheduled a vote for 5:15 PM EST on the Corporate Transparency Act of 2019 (H.R. 2513). The bill reveals the true owners of "anonymous" shell companies to law enforcement.
"This legislation helps us stop human traffickers and corrupt public officials and protects development aid,” said Eric LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert and the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA. LeCompte's organization generated thousands of messages to Congress in support of the bill. “Shell companies contribute to a trillion dollar loss to the developing world every single year."
The bill, sponsored by Representatives, Peter King (R-NY), Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) would prevent types of Medicare fraud and stop a number of criminal activities.
Read Jubilee USA's Action Alert on the Corporate Transparency Act
Thanks to your work, Congress votes today on Jubilee legislation to stop corruption, prevent human trafficking and protect debt relief and development aid.
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Your actions over the last few weeks, months and years have finally gotten us to this point. In recent weeks, we've generated thousands of phone calls to Congress urging support for the Corporate Transparency Act. Over the weekend, Congregations across the United States ran petition drives and postcard rallies in support of the Corporate Transparency Act.
Tens of thousands of Jews, Christians, Muslims and people of good will - prayed and acted for Jubilee this past weekend.
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The Associated Press quotes Eric LeCompte on the global economic slowdown reported at the International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings in Washington, DC. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.
Finance Officials Pledge to Combat Global Economic Slowdown
Jubilee USA, a religious organization fighting global poverty, said in a statement that while the IMF outlined a number of serious threats, the recommendations for dealing with them fell short.
"Risky investing, trade tensions and developing countries borrowing too much are serious concerns for financial stability," said Eric LeCompte, the group's executive director.
Read more here.
Washington DC - World leaders, Finance Ministers, heads of corporations and development groups are meeting at the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings.
"The International Monetary Fund released a series of frightening reports this week and expressed great concern for the global economy.
"The Fund warns of corporate debts that are so high, they can be a recipe for global financial crisis. Risky investing, trade tensions and developing countries borrowing too much are serious concerns for financial stability.
"Because of the serious concerns that the IMF is raising, their crisis prevention recommendations fall short of what we need to stop the next financial crisis. We must urgently move forward with both crisis prevention and resolution processes such as a global bankruptcy mechanism.
"While the IMF bolsters lending resources, it seems this is happening at the loss of quota reform. There is a critical democratic need for voting power to be more equally distributed among IMF members."
Read the Jubilee USA release on debt, Argentina, Ecuador and Somalia
Read the Jubilee USA release on the World Economic Outlook Report
Read Jubilee USA's release on the Global Financial Stability Report