2021-07-21 GENERAL HOUSE

Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reducing Inequalities IN and BETWEEN countries

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations set out the steps to be followed as Marists of Champagnat in our life and mission. It is true that these goals are not directly linked to the Gospel, nor to our Marist history, but it is also clear that this does not imply that they are unrelated to what we experience and share. These objectives are values in themselves and should help us to get closer to our world, in its here and now reality.

Our option for the poor, for the most vulnerable, leads us to strive to reduce and eliminate existing inequalities. The 22nd General Chapter reminded us, within the 5 calls of the need to be at the side of those who suffer. And it reminded us of this in various ways and with very clear invitations: to be beacons of hope or to respond boldly to emerging needs are some examples. Working to reduce inequalities brings us closer to Pope Francis’ desire to revive a worldwide desire for brotherhood, as he told us in the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, in number 8.

Perhaps in the past, one might think, it was more difficult to be an active agent in reducing inequalities. Today, in our increasingly globalised world, we find many ways of doing our bit in this area. We are called to be, always, “a prophetic memory of the dignity and fundamental equality of all God’s people” (3rd call of the Chapter).

We are talking about inequalities which, in many cases, have been exacerbated by the pandemic we are experiencing. Inequalities that we cannot ignore. Inequalities that are apparent in various ways: food inequalities, inequalities in access to medicines and protective equipment, precariousness of work, inequalities in school attendance?

During this time of pandemic, we have discovered and experienced dozens of initiatives throughout the Institute aimed at alleviating inequalities. We have continued to work so that the most needy can have access to basic necessities, we have created projects and developed actions to respond to multiple humanitarian emergencies, we have continued to defend the rights of the most vulnerable… Reasons, without doubt, to give thanks to God. And reasons to continue to spend our lives “opening our hearts and listening to the cries of children and young people” (4th call of the Chapter).

Also, Brother Ernesto, in his circular “Homes of Light”, clearly invites us to continue in this same way, and to do it together with others, with a look of “solidarity towards those who are most in need”, from a relational, social and community dimension.

Therefore, as Marists of Champagnat, we want to join in raising awareness and in actions that lead to the reduction of inequalities between human beings, our brothers and sisters, regardless of where they live in the world . In the words of Pope Francis: “may it be that in the end there will no longer be ‘the others’, but only one ‘us’ (Fratelli Tutti, 35).


Br. Ángel Diego García Otaola – Director of the Secretariaty of Solidarity


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