Let us educate the population on the causes of poverty to overcome it resolutely
Last August, eight Archbishops and Bishops from Africa came to our headquarters in Rougemont, Canada, to attend our week of study on economic democracy (also called Social Credit) and our annual Congress. Since 2008, 34 African Bishops have attended our weeks of study, and they are all determined to make our economic solution known around them. Here are some of the reflections of the Bishops who came last August:
Most Rev. Basile Mve Engone, S.D.B. (Salesian), Archbishop of Libreville, Gabon:
I am very happy to take part in the week of study of the Pilgrims of St. Michael on Social Credit. I would like to say that this week was an edifying and rich experience, because it permitted us to understand the functioning of finance better. We see this subject from a distance but we do not see how it’s organized, or how it functions.
I thank Louis Even and all the Pilgrims of St. Michael that continue this mission, a mission to make sure that men and women take the present and the future in hand with dignity, to fight against poverty while applying Social Credit. This really interested me, to see the link that you made between Social Credit and the Social Doctrine of the Church in order to help us, to help man, to help the Christian to commit himself in this battle against poverty: this struggle to appropriate the goods that God gives to all men, so that they might satisfy their daily needs. It also permitted me to understand the vicious character of money, the inhuman character of the power of money that renders man practically useless for society and for himself.
And I think that the experience that I have lived is an experience that comforts me in our struggle to make the life of man more human, more beautiful and rich. I think that we can win this fight, but not alone. We can win it together, in unity.
I also think that the experience that I have lived and shared will be, perhaps for all of you as well, a new dawn… What the Pilgrims of St. Michael propose is to ensure that man is no longer set aside, but has a part in his own development and to participate in this development.
Most Rev. Louis Portela MBUYU, Bishop of Kinkala, President of the Episcopal Conference of Congo and of the Association of the Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa:
Thank you for the teaching received; this course unveils the secrets that shape our economic and social world today… It deserves a mobilization of hearts, lives, of everybody. What you do here needs to be spread and better known… The problem is so important and urgent; there is no time to sleep. It really is a mystery of iniquity that people can take pleasure in the suffering of others, in the misery of others. It is not human. Man was not created for that. It’s evil and satanic!
Congratulations for choosing to fight for this cause, because this issue is not taken from a special category; it is a cause that concerns all humanity. We know that today the world is under the control of financial magnates who dominate the world in order to fight against humanity. When we read the testimony of John Perkins, how he states that in a certain country (in this case Indonesia), Perkins was sent to see how to invest, how the financial powers of the United States, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank can invest. He said that, of course, we can start to build roads and electrical centers, but the country will be heavily in debt, and precisely because of these debts, the country will be at our mercy. This is just to say that we are dealing with serious situations here.
And so thank you, I give thanks to God for this work, to Louis Even, to Mrs. Gilberte Cote-Mercier and Mr. Gerard Mercier, the founders and all of you. Thank you for commiting yourselves in the road of justice. I admire you. And the testimonies that I heard yesterday from the men and women really struck and touched me. We feel that they are people who believe in a cause, who have engaged themselves and who wish to do so to the end. There have certainly been many trials. But despite these trials, this is obvious; but well, in spite of these problems, I can tell you: Fix your eyes on Jesus Christ, as the Epistle to the Hebrews says (12:1-2); we have to run with endurance the race that is set before us. Therefore may the Lord help each of you today, whether you are young or old, to go to the end, because your cause is the very cause of Jesus Christ…
That which you do is part of the proclamation of the Gospel. So, it is not only a social and economic commitment. It is really the proclamation of the Gospel. In the Synod of 1971 in Rome, the synodal Fathers reminded us that the fight for justice and the transformation of the world is an integral part of the proclamation of the Gospel. And in your commitment, it is the proclamation of the Gospel that you are doing. So then, what a mission!
I am happy also to hear what was said, for example, about the United States and Poland; that more and more you have universities that take into account this study of Social Credit. I believe that this is very important. It must be diffused in all levels of society. Whether in universities, even in very modest areas, it does not matter; this doctrine must be made known, particularly so that the vices of the global system – today the world economic system – will be revealed, manifested, and that the people will know the truth. As the prophet Hosea said (4:6): “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”… It is really something harmful and vicious. And we must fight this. May the light spread everywhere! This is everybody’s fight! We must spread the truth of what is the real nature of this system.
The bishops, priests and lay faithful who took part in our week of study last August Picture taken after a Mass in St. Michael’s parish church in Rougemont
Most Rev. Jean Pierre Kutwa, Archbishop of Abidjan, Ivory Coast:
We must never stop giving thanks. With the others, I would like to thank the initiators of this meeting… This is very dangerous ground, this area of finance. And you have helped us to understand; we all see for ourselves. You are fighting with unequal weapons, speaking in material terms. The financiers have a lot of material means; you have very little, but it does not discourage you. You wish to go to battle against them.
It is not only a material battle, but it is also a spiritual battle. There again you are struggling on unequal terms. But this time, it is in our favor because they have the support of the devil, Satan, Mammon, who is a created being. You, on the other hand, have the Creator as your support, so you are the stronger ones. What causes me to rejoice is this: you have established this struggle, you have started the beginning of this fight in God. I believe that this rooting in God will permit you finally, in the face of Goliath, (because it is a Goliath) to overcome Goliath one day. I am convinced! With faith, my friends, the financial world will be improved.
Most Rev. Jean Zerbo, Archbishop of Bamako, Mali:
So, thank you to all those who allowed us to live here like a family in this house dedicated to our Mother (the House of the Immaculate). When the children are found where the mother is, it is truly a great fraternity. Thank you for doing all you could so that we could also live this fraternity… Thank you to our pilot (Mr. Alain Pilote, who was the lecturer during the week of study) who helped us to take off when we were confused, who knew how to help us have a gentle landing. When he sensed that the passengers were sleeping, he knew how to immediately introduce another element so that we would digest well what he was teaching. I tell you that these takeoffs and landings were successful.
Thank you in a special way to the families that took the risk of bringing their children. Someone earlier spoke to us of the future, of the next generation. I congratulate the families. The presence of children in our midst gives a youthful air, a vitality to our week of study, and I encourage them. Yes! From now on we must sow in their hearts a good seed, that of the Word of God, the Love of God, that of giving ourselves for the other. I wish also that the efforts that you are making to accompany them will reap a good harvest in their hearts and bear fruit, for the future of our battle for the civilization of love.
What type of resolution can we make? I said that Mr. Pilote guided us well with a good pedagogy. He provided us with appropriate documents… The resolution that I will make now is to leave here to fight ignorance. It is true that the devil continues his work. He tricks certain people and brings them to exploit others, to live on the blood of others and, as the Psalmist says: when they eat their bread, it is His people they are eating. And this really exists. But I think at the bottom of each person’s heart, there is something good, and our ministry consists in fortifying each one and in employing ourselves to remove the roots of the forces of evil. And when we look around us, that is particularly in the domain of finance.
This depends precisely on the greed of each person. Saint Paul says: “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10.) And indeed it is. Jesus asks us: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26.) So my personal resolution is to go to fight this ignorance, first of all by making a report of what I have experienced here… We will put the educational materials we have received here at the disposition of all. They are easy to read: a set of ten lessons of which it is not necessary to read all in one evening.
Most Rev. Pierre Celestin TSHITOKO MAMBA, Bishop of Luebo, Democratic Republic of Congo:
Thank you for the invitation to follow a week of study on Social Credit. Thank you for the invitation to participate in your congress. I would like to thank the General Directress, Miss Therese Tardif, Mr. Marcel Lefebvre, and all of the team for inviting us here and for organizing this week of study. And I would like to also thank all the Pilgrims for the sacrifices made in order to make our stay here more agreeable. We have lived a truly wonderful time of fraternity. We were able to know you. We were able to speak with you as brothers. I tell you, in the name of all the team here, a very big thank you. We are not disappointed; we have been enriched.
When I read MICHAEL for the first time at home, I came upon the story of “The Money Myth.” After I read it, I was not able to figure out why the inhabitants of the island were mad at the banker who had loaned them money. I thought it was normal that he should charge interest. But it is here (during this week of study) that I have understood that the banking system that we have is a system to keep all the citizens of this world in poverty.
I have understood that the system that we have, the money-debt system, is a system that is responsible for our poverty, the poverty of the planet. I understood also why our governments in our countries have great difficulty to get out of their misery: they are in debt and they cannot get out. One solution to get out of this misery is the doctrine of Social Credit; I am convinced of this and I think our professor Pilote for enlightening us. What also struck and edified me was the knowledge of the Social Doctrine of the Church.
The analysis of the present financial system permitted me to understand the realities of my diocese… I believe that Social Credit is one of the important solutions to humanize our planet, but this is not easy because we do not all share the same values. Those who do not share our values are apparently stronger than we are. And we have said many times: it is a battle against the dragon. This demands a lot of courage. It is for this reason that I tell you, as John Paul II said: “Do not be afraid.” Do not be afraid because Christ is with you. Christ is forever.
Fr. Jean Marie KOUASSI, Assistant General Secretary, Archdiocese of Abidjan, Ivory Coast:
Recently, the new terminology that is in fashion is HIPC, which stands for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries. Our African states, just to mention them, in order to qualify for full debt relief, must satisfy the cruel and inhuman requirements of the IMF and the World Bank financiers in order to be eligible for (and it is not always won) an initiative of HIPC.
In other words, to qualify for this debt relief, our states must be humiliated. This should anger more than one person, when our countries rejoice because they qualify for HIPC relief. We are told that the final objective is in the cancellation of the debt. So tell me, do we really need all of these inhuman measures? Our countries and states, do they need to be downgraded, do they need all of these Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) in order to have their debts erased? Haven’t they already paid this debt in the form of compound interest that they do not cease to reimburse through the same SAPs?
In truth, the common feature of all these programs is that they are dealing with countries where the debts, unless there is a direct operation of the Holy Spirit, would never disappear on their own! But must we despair? It is here that we measure the importance of this week of study, where we are told with force: no, you are not authorized to despair because it is too late to be pessimistic. Tell me, do you hear, like me, the song of hope that rises from this week of study? Do you hear, like me, the song of hope of the Pilgrims of St. Michael that tells us that the best is yet to come, as long as Christ continues to appoint apostles!