International Debt Relief

We the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, join in the worldwide movement to cancel the crushing international debt of impoverished countries. We consider that it is urgent for us to:

  • Participate in the Jubilee 2000/USA Campaign
  • Educate ourselves and our Associates and colleagues in ministry regarding key debt issues
  • Advocate for specific actions by the U. S. government and world monetary organizations

We recognize the complexity of world economics, and therefore we join with economists, faith groups, social justice advocates, environmentalists, and development agencies around the globe in seeking understanding of and solutions to the debt crisis. Read the full text of our stand

Many impoverished nations who borrow money pay back their debts over and over again. For example, between 1970 and 2002, Africa received $540 billion in loans and paid back $550 billion, but still owed $295 billion. Debt service payments steal resources needed to prevent disease and provide adequate care. Nations could spend their freed-up resources on education, health, infrastructure, and access to water.

The Big Picture:

Jubilee USA Network, of which the GNSH are members, is an alliance of more than

  • 75 US Organizations
  • 400 faith communities
  • 50 Jubilee global partners

Jubilee works toward building an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief for the world’s poorest people.

The Jubilee year was meant to restore equality among all of the children of Israel, offering new possibilities to families which had lost their property and even their personal freedom. On the other hand, the jubilee year was a reminder to the rich that a time would come when their Israelite slaves would once again become their equals and would be able to reclaim their rights. At the times prescribed by law, a jubilee year had to be proclaimed to assist those in need.”    Pope John Paul II

Efforts are underway to build  support to influence world-wide decision makers (i.e. the White House, Congress, the G20, International Financial Institutions and the United Nations) to promote poverty reduction and move solutions to the international debt crisis. Ultimately, the goal is to create an international financial system that protects and ensures participation of the most vulnerable within the context of human rights. Advocacy focuses on:

  • Promoting responsible lending and borrowing
  • Increasing debt relief for poor countries
  • Curbing illicit financial flows and corporate tax avoidance
  • Moving forward an international debt resolution proces
  • Pushing reforms in international financial institutions
  • Protecting poor people from predatory financial behavior

How can you support Debt Relief for Impoverished Nations? 

Join us in our efforts to become better informed about international debt. Working together we can lobby the legislature and the Secretary of the Treasury to support the following:

  • Responsible Lending and Borrowing / Expanded Debt Relief
  • Tax Justice
  • Fair and Transparent Debt Arbitration ProcessReform of international financial institutions
  • Establishing trade policies that promote the common good

“Society has a moral obligation, including governmental action where necessary, to assure opportunity, meet basic human needs, and pursue justice in economic life.”  US Catholic Bishops


O God, to whom we owe
more than we can count,
in our desire to control all that is
and will come to be,
we hold your other children
in the grip of debt
which they cannot repay,
and we make them suffer
the poverty we dread.
Do no hold us to our debts,
but unchain our fear,
that we may forgive
and release the Other
into an open future of unbounded hope,
Through Christ our Savior,

(Education for Justice. Center of Concern)

Click on the following links for more information:

Jubilee USA Network

From the USCCB concerning debt

A Catholic Framework for Economic Life

The Grey Nuns