Letter from Bishop Wenski to House on Jubilee Debt Relief Act, April 9, 2008

Year Published
  • 2014
  • English

April 9, 2008

United States House of Representatives

Dear Representative,

As Chairman of the Committee on International Policy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), I urge you to support the Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation of 2007 (HR 2634).

Inspired by the call of our late, beloved Pope John Paul II, USCCB has long been a strong advocate of lifting the heavy burden of debt from the backs of millions of people living in the world’s poorest countries. As Pope Benedict XVI makes his first Apostolic Visit to the United States, it is a fitting that Congress show support for this important initiative that would help alleviate the debt burden of some of our poorest brothers and sisters around the world.

As you know, since 1999 major new debt relief initiatives have been adopted by the international community. These initiatives have resulted in the reduction of the debt of 22 poor countries by over $60 billion. Another 19 countries are receiving, or are potentially eligible to receive, billions more in debt cancellation. These reductions are freeing up substantial funds each year for expenditures in education, health and other investments essential for improving the lives of poor people.

Despite this progress, a substantial number of needy countries are not eligible for the existing debt relief initiatives. HR 2634 represents a major new step towards correcting this deficiency and making debt cancellation a reality for virtually all very poor countries that have participatory processes and financial management systems sufficient to assure that debt cancellation savings will be used to benefit the poor. We urge you to complete the unfinished business of poor country debt relief and support HR 2634.

Sincerely yours,

Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski
Bishop of Orlando
Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace

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