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Cardinal Calls on G8 Leaders to Keep Their Promises

posted on 02 May 2007

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-OConnor, the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, has led an international delegation of bishops from Africa, Asia and Europe to 10 Downing Street to remind Tony Blair of Britains commitment to the G8 pledges made at Gleneagles in 2005.

As Germany prepares to host the Group of Eight, the bishops are taking part in a tour calling on the new German government to get the G8 nations back on track to meet their commitment to double aid to Africa* - increasing it by $25 billion-a-year by 2010.

The Cardinal chaired the meeting on 30 April attended by eight senior church figures - including Archbishop Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria; and Archbishop Monsengwo of Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Cardinal highlighted the important role the Church has to play in reminding the G8 leaders of their moral duty to keep their promises:  

I thanked the Prime Minister and the government for the good work already done in drawing the worlds attention to the plight of those in need, particularly in Africa.  I urged him to continue his leadership in this respect at the forthcoming G8 Summit in Berlin. 

The Catholic Bishops are lobbying national leaders in London, Berlin and Rome as part of an international Catholic campaign called: The World Cant Wait: Make Aid Work.

The tour will conclude with a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican.


* compared with figures for 2004

The UK leg of the tour was organised by the Catholic development agency CAFOD.

Full list of delegates who met Prime Minister Blair at 10 Downing Street:
1. Archbishop Concessao, Arcbishop of New Delhi
2. Archbishop Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja and former President of the Nigerian Bishops Conference
3. Archbishop Monsengwo, Archbishop of Kisengani, Democratic Republic of Congo
4. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor (chair), Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Bishops Conference of England and Wales
5. Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien, Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland
6. Bishop Stenger, Bishop of Troyes, France
7. Bishop Miglio, Bishop of Ivrea, Italy
8. Bishop Dewane, Bishop of Venice, Florida.

Photographs of the delegation visiting Downing Street are available on request.
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posted on 02 May 2007

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