The purpose of mankind is to manifest good in a myriad of ways and thereby to give glory to God. Because of the complexity of good an individual usually requires training, practice, repetition and the co-operation of others in order to manifest good.
If a person does wrong (sin) the co-operation of other people is lost so that it becomes difficult for that sinner to do good. But Jesus knows that sinners can still do good. The church therefore runs charities which co-operate with any person wishing to do good, whatever their past mistakes.
CAFOD (the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) is the international aid and development charity for the Catholic Church in the UK. CAFOD is 50 this year. By focusing work on the poor and the marginalised of the world, CAFOD provides not only development and emergency aid but CAFOD also campaigns, with other organisations, to change the root causes of poverty and injustice. In Lent 2012 UK Catholic parishioners donated over £8.7 million to CAFOD.
Campaigning works. Previously successful campaigns include; the Jubilee 2000 petition which achieved $110 billion of debt cancellation; the co-founding of Fairtrade in 1992; the signing by 144 countries of the Ottawa agreement which bans the manufacture, sale and use of land mines; the ‘Make Poverty History’ campaign which increased aid to developing countries by $50 billion; the ‘Ethical Trading Initiative’ and the ‘Clean up your Computer’ campaign which improved the working conditions in developing countries; and the ‘Unearth Justice’ campaign when 7 major jewellers signed up to the Golden Rules, improving justice in mining. In 2010 CAFOD joined with other charities to urge the government to maintain spending on overseas development to reach the agreed 0.7% GNI by 2013. Last year UK aid treated 100,000 HIV sufferers, vaccinated 3 million children, built 12,000 classrooms and trained 100,000 teachers in developing countries.
In 2012 CAFOD ran a ‘Thirst for Change’ campaign to bring basic services of clean drinking water and sanitation to more people in developing countries. Over 60,000 people signed the petition. Currently 783 million people lack access to clean water and 2.5 billion lack access to safe sanitation. It is estimated that a child dies every 20 seconds because of preventable infections caused by poor quality water and sanitation.
Jesus continues to make good manifest because God is the source of all good.