nder the strong leadership of John Paul II, the Catholic Church has been preparing the coming of the next millennium
during the last few years. The Jubilee 2000 movement spread across cultures
and countries to originate various International ecumenical moves that
helped to create hopeful signs of worldsolidarity. One of them was the
movement to abolish the international debt of poor countries. This has
evolved to fight poverty, mainly in African, Asian and Latin American countries.
This Christian inspired movement leads to forgiveness and reconciliation
in industrial as well as in developing regions.
ith the closing of the century we are now celebrating the 20th anniversary
of a new international apostolate, the Jesuit Refugee Service,lunched by
Fr. Arrupe in 1980.
The occasion to make an appeal to Jesuits from all over the world at the
time was the tragedy of the Vietnamese Boat people. The situation of refugees
has become increasingly critical everywhere, so much that the 21st century
starts being a refugees' century. Close to us in Japan we have critical
refugee situations in East Timor, Burma and North Korea.
|With best greetings from the staff of the Social Center
15 December, 2000