The VIIIFOESSA report(Spanish association for the promotion of Social Studies and Applied Sociology) regarding Exclusion and Social Development in Spain confirms that social exclusion is deeply rooted in the structure of our country. Today, there are 8.5 million peopleunder this condition, which represents 18.4% of the population. In this context, Pope Francis’ message for the Third World Journey of the Poor on November the 17th, reminds that “The hope of the poor will not perish for ever” (psalm 9) These words of the Psalm remain timely. They express a profound truth that faith impresses above all on the hearts of the poor, restoring lost hope in the face of injustice, sufferings and the uncertainties of life”.
From September the 1stto October the 27th, the Church has been immersed in a time of prayer, dialogue and ecological conversion. It began with the World Journey of Prayer for the Care for Creation and finished with the Amazon Synod. “And God saw that it was good”. God’s gaze, at the beginning of the Bible, rests lovingly on his creation. Unfortunately, what was initially created as something good has turned into something exploitable by human greed. The Amazon Synod encourages us to adopt an attitude of active listening towards the mother Earth and its inhabitants, inviting us to live an integral ecology as an essential part of our faith and Christian engagement.
Life in Slovakia 30 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, as well as the search for an improved cohabitation in Europe, was at the centre of the International Seminar and the Justice and Peace General Assembly of Europe, celebrated from the 11th to the 14th of October in Bratislava. Freedom, justice and reconciliation require something more than he eradication of barbed wire-borders of the communist times. Freedom is an endless project in which we must work on day by day.
November the 25th is a journey of denounce and reflection in which figures, official records and data leave us overwhelmed. They show and highlight that violence against women and girls all around the world entails a brutal violation of Human Rights: one of the cruellest gender discriminations since it is a violence against an individual for the mere fact of being a woman.
Activities of different workgroups and campaigns in which we have participated are summarized in the back cover. There is a wide range of realities and injustices, confrontment, fragility and vulnerability in our societies and in our world. Blessed are the people who sow tangible seeds of hope!
Isabel Cuenca Anaya