Remember his speech at the DNC? His leadership of North Carolina’s Moral Mondays?
This is good news:
In an exclusive interview, Bishop Dr. William J. Barber II, currently president of Repairers of the Breach, a nonpartisan, nonprofit social advocacy group, has confirmed that he and a delegation of “moral, workers rights, anti-poverty and ecological justice advocates” will be meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thanksgiving Day.
Dr. Barber gave his permission Sunday for the news of his Vatican visit to be released now. He received the invitation from the Vatican last September, along with invitations to visit England and Africa to join other labor and workers’ rights advocates.
“[The Pope] wants to bless this movement, and meet with other activists from around the world who are fighting against poverty,” Barber said then, indicating that he would give his permission for it to be revealed in November.
Dr. Barber, who officially stepped down in October after 12 years as president of the N.C. NAACP, will be part of a two-day conference attended by social justice advocates from countries like Canada, Senegal, Italy, Ireland, Tunisia, Ghana, Brazil, and the United States, among others.
It’s no doubt that Dr. Barber’s involvement in the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1968 Poor People’s Campaign caught the attention of not only national, but international social justice leadership, like Pope Francis, who is world renowned for his personal and official advocacy for the poor.
Just last Sunday in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, celebrated a special Mass for poor people on the first World Day of the Poor, eating with 1,500 from Italy, Poland and France.
The pope also denounced those who express indifference to the plight of the poor, calling such behavior “a great sin.”