WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Caritas to Host Oceania Forum

WelCom October 2018:

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is hosting this year’s Caritas Oceania Forum in Wellington, 1‒5 October 2018. Some 30 delegates from 11 countries or territories in Oceania, as well as representatives from the international Caritas network, will attend.

They include Cardinal Soane Patita Mafi, Tonga; Archbishop Peter Loy Chong, Fiji; Bishop Joe Roszynski, Wewak, Papua New Guinea; and Bishop of Christchurch, Paul Martin. Also reflecting the breadth of Caritas’ work in the region will be representatives from Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, American Samoa, New Caledonia and Caroline Islands in Micronesia. From Rome will come Michel Roy, Secretary-General of the Caritas Internationalis Confederation. Caritas Oceania is one of seven regions within the Confederation, comprising 165 Catholic development, humanitarian and social justice agencies.

The event will begin with a pōwhiri at the Home of Compassion, on 1 October.

The theme is ‘Let us go together ‒ Me haere tahi tatou’, with three priorities: indigenous perspectives on Catholic social teaching; disaster risk management; and environmental justice. The forum will also help prepare for Caritas Oceania’s participation at the Caritas Internationalis General Assembly in Rome May 2019, where new member Caritas Fiji will be welcomed into the confederation.

The fifth Caritas State of the Environment for Oceania Report: Waters of Life, Oceans of Mercy will be launched at the forum on St Francis Day, 4 October. The report tracks five environmental issues affecting the lives of Oceania people: coastal erosion/sea level rise; food and water; extreme weather; offshore mining and drilling; and climate finance. It looks at how climate change and other environmental issues affect people dependent on oceans, freshwater and healthy sustainable land-use for their survival, livelihoods and identity.

This year’s report also profiles cases of how over-extraction and intensive use of resources is damaging our common home in Oceania; contrasting it with stories of sustainable use and efforts to protect or restore the environment.