Shameful that need for clean water is not a priority, says cardinal

| Carol Glatz | August 29, 2016 | 2 Comments
Indian boys collect drinking water in early May from the main water supply line in Bhopa. Allowing people to drink unsafe water or have no access to dependable, clean sources of water is shameful, Cardinal Peter Turkson told religious leaders at an interfaith meeting Aug. 29 in Stockholm. CNS photo/Sanjeev Gupta, EPA

Indian boys collect drinking water in early May from the main water supply line in Bhopa. Allowing people to drink unsafe water or have no access to dependable, clean sources of water is shameful, Cardinal Peter Turkson told religious leaders at an interfaith meeting Aug. 29 in Stockholm. CNS photo/Sanjeev Gupta, EPA

Allowing people to drink unsafe water or have no access to dependable, clean sources of water is shameful, Cardinal Peter Turkson told religious leaders.

“It is a continuing shame,” too, that people’s needs “are secondary to industries which take too much and that pollute what remains,” said the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

It’s also a shame “that governments pursue other priorities and ignore their parched cries,” he said in the keynote address to an interfaith meeting Aug. 29 in Stockholm, Sweden. The Vatican office sent Catholic News Service the cardinal’s written speech the same day.

The meeting on how faith-based organizations could contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals dealing with water was part of Stockholm’s annual World Water Week gathering, which seeks to find concrete solutions to global water issues. The meeting also came in the run-up to the Sept. 1 World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

With speakers representing the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist communities, the Aug. 29 meeting looked at how religious communities could promote guaranteed access to sanitation and clean water for everyone. Some 660 million people are without adequate drinking water, and every year millions, mostly children, die from diseases linked to poor water supply and sanitation, according to the United Nations.

Religious faith and practices, Cardinal Turkson said, offer the needed “motivation to virtue” that inspires people to protect human dignity and rights.

Faith-based organizations can help youth embrace the values of “solidarity, altruism and responsibility” needed to become “honest administrators and politicians,” he said.

Religious leaders could also help organize “interreligious campaigns for cleaning rivers or lakes in order to foster mutual respect, peace and friendship among different groups,” as well as promote “a wise hierarchy of priorities for the use of water,” especially where there are competing demands, he said.

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  • Charles C.

    And yet US policy, and the position of one of the presidential candidates, is to make sure the world has access to free abortions, condoms, and Gay marriage.

    The lack of clean drinking water leads to diarrhea, which is the second leading cause of death for children under 5 in the world, and a major cause of malnutrition among them.

    Clean water, coupled with a cheap packet of salts, is the best treatment for this problem. Couple that with good sanitation and we won’t lose the 3/4 of a million children who die each year.

  • tschraad

    The Democrat party desire to give each child the right for clean water and in it’s effort to support this Cardinal’s goal, they kill about a million unborn children a year so that they will not experience the horrible feeling of being thirsty. Dead human beings given the privilege of not experiencing being thirsty. Sad