Religious leaders discuss aid issues

Feb. 1, 2005 at 6:21 AM

DUBLIN, Ireland, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Religious leaders from around the world have met in Dublin to discuss aid to developing countries, the Irish Independent reported Tuesday.

Discussion topics included HIV/AIDS, health, gender issues, conflict and children, as well as the Indian Ocean tsunami.

The World Faiths Development Dialogue organized the two-day meeting, its fourth conference, in Dublin Castle.

WFDD gives as its purpose the addressing of links between "poverty, social tensions and marginalization, and global security within the context of mounting global inequities."

The organization is the brainchild of Dr. James Wolfensohn, head of the World Bank, and Lord George Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury, who were co-hosts of the meeting together with the Catholic archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Diarmuid Martin.

Martin described poverty as "the lack of ability to realize God-given potential."

Among those at the meeting were the Saudi ambassador to Britain and Ireland, Prince Turki al-Faisal al-Saud; Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C.; Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former U.N. high commissioner for human rights; Dr. Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the World Council of Churches; and the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.

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