At the opening of the Season of Creation, Pope Francis stressed the inextricable link between caring for our home and the way our economy works.
He reminded us that “We must restore with justice in mind, ensuring that those who have lived on the land for generations regain control over its usage. Indigenous communities must be protected from companies, particularly multinational companies.”
He added that: “This corporate misbehavior is a ‘new version of colonialism’ (Querida Amazonia, 14) that shamefully exploits poorer countries and communities desperate for income.
“We need to strengthen national and international legislation to regulate the activities of extractive companies and ensure access to justice for those affected.”
In coherence with the Pope’s call many more Catholic Church leaders signed the Bishops’ Statement: “Now more than ever, We need mandatory supply chain due diligence to stop corporate abuse and guarantee global solidarity” which was to date signed by 7 cardinals: Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (Austria), Cardinal Reinhard Marx (Germany), Cardinal Alvaro Leonel Ramazzini Imeri (Guatemala), Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich (Luxembourg), Cardinal Charles Maung Bo (Myanmar), Cardinal Antonio Augusto Dos Santos Marto (Portugal), Cardinal Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo (Venezuela) and 226 bishops, making a total of 233 high level Church leaders supporting the cause.
The statement calls for mandatory supply chain due diligence to stop corporate abuse and environmental degradation and guarantee global solidarity.
It is especially relevant in view of the next round of negotiations of a Legally Binding Instrument on Business and Human Rights at the United Nations, scheduled for October and this year entering its sixth session.
The Statement comes at at time when the EU is also taking some important steps for corporate regulation through a public consultation launched by the European Commission and a legislative proposal by the European Parliament to limit the impact of businesses on human rights and the environment.
Alongside the bishops, many people within the Church and beyond are engaged and asking for justice in the corporate system.
Women, who are the most affected by corporate abuse, are also among the most vocal actors for justice. Among them is Sr. Mary John Mananzan from the Philippines, who shared her view and grassroots experience in the blog “The place of women is in the struggle” published on CIDSE’s website here.
Countries of origin of Bishops signatories: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, DR Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malawi, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Senegal, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Switzerland, Uganda, Vatican, Venezuela.
Cardinals signatories of the Statement: Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (Austria), Cardinal Reinhard Marx (Germany), Cardinal Alvaro LeonelRamazzini Imeri (Guatemala), Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich (Luxembourg), Cardinal Charles Maung Bo (Myanmar), Cardinal Antonio Augusto Dos Santos Marto (Portugal), Cardinal Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo (Venezuela).