Category Archives: Press Releases

Aid cuts for world’s poor this Christmas

Don’t divert aid

To sign the petition encouraging the government to increase its aid spending, click here

Caritas Australia, an international aid and development agency that helps some of the world’s poorest people, has said the Australian Government‘s plans to divert much needed overseas aid money to fund rising refugee support costs domestically will do irreparable damage to Australia’s international reputation.

The proposed aid cuts show that out of all the 23 OECD countries that give overseas aid, Australia will now be the biggest spender on aid within its own borders.

While the US and France spend around three percent of their overseas aid budget on “in-donor expenses” which includes refugee processing, Australia is proposing to spend double that. Continue reading

New Director for ACBC Office for Clergy Life and Ministry

Fr Brian Moloney

Media Release, 18 December, 2012

Broken Bay Diocesan priest Fr. Brian Moloney has been appointed by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) as the Director of the Office for Clergy Life and Ministry, following the retirement of Fr. Frank Devoy this year.

This position reports to the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry (BCCM) which is currently chaired by Bishop David Walker.

Fr. Moloney’s work will focus specifically on the work and life of Catholic clergy, and discover ways to support them in their essential ministry.

Bishop Walker said that Fr. Brian Moloney is a wonderful choice for this important position, citing that Fr. Moloney already takes initiative in supporting  fellow priests in the Broken Bay Diocese.

“Currently he is Parish Priest at Pennant Hills in the north of Sydney and is Chair of the Broken Bay Clergy Life and Ministry Committee.   Over the last two years, he has been Chair of the Broken Bay Synod Task Force and is currently the Dean of the Hornsby Deanery. Continue reading

Announcement of Chair and CEO of Church Council for Royal Commission

Francis Sullivan

Media Release 12 DECEMBER 2012

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) support the establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia.

Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the ACBC, and Sr Annette Cunliffe RSC, Chair of CRA, reiterated the Catholic Church’s support for the Royal Commission and the Church’s desire to openly embrace and co-operate with its work. Continue reading

Candidates named for popular women’s interfaith fellowship

Recipients of the inaugural fellowship, 2006

Media Release,

11 December, 2012

The names of the seventeen participants of the Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship 2013-2014 have been confirmed.

The successful candidates come from twelve dioceses from across Australia, and will undertake a formation program which includes theological studies, interfaith relations and Catholic leadership.

Bishop Peter Ingham, Bishops’ delegate for the Council for Australian Catholic Women (CACW) expressed his delight at the quality of the applications and the giftedness of the candidates. Continue reading

Hundreds attend third annual migrant and refugee conference

Media Release, 10 December, 2012

Migrant Chaplains

Over two hundred people from around Australia attended the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office’s (ACMRO) third annual conference on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees, held at St Patrick’s Campus of the Australian Catholic University (ACU) from 5-7 December.

Beginning with a day for migrant chaplains on 5 December, stories and pastoral experiences were shared under the biblical theme “I have heard them crying out” (Ex. 3:7)

All Nations Mass

An All Nations Mass was celebrated by Bishop Gerard Hanna was held at St Brigid’s Parish in Fitzroy and featured representatives from Colombia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Italy, Tonga, Samoa, Haiti, Vietnam, Lebanon, Portugal, Burma and the Philippines.

At the conference, with keynote speakers – including Richard Towle from UNHCR; Graham Thom of Amnesty International; William Maley from the ANU; Fr Aloysius Mowe SJ Director of Jesuit Refugee Service Australia; Paris Aristotle of the expert panel on migration; Paul Power of the Refugee Council of Australia; author Robin de Crespigny; Bishops Eugene Hurley, Vincent Long, Terry Brady and Gerard Hanna – themes such as mandatory detention; immigration policy and boat journeys were discussed and explained in detail by experts.

Bishop Vincent Long

Those who had lived the refugee experience also presented at the conference, including Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Vincent Long, who spoke of his own journey to Australia by boat from Vietnam in 1983.

“It is estimated that of two million Vietnamese refugees who fled the conflict, 500,000 perished in the pursuit of freedom. It is something that we will never forget, and my episcopal motto is “go further into the deep” for this reason, as a testimony to my experience and my commitment to the refugee issue”, he said.

“Every time I hear the mantra “stop the boats”, I shudder, because those of us who came to Australia by boat from Vietnam see that this country is founded on the downtrodden, that this is our history. Our country is about giving a fair go to the underdog. We need to look to the broader context of justice and solidarity.”

Sr Rosa, Anna and Sr Ann at the ACMRO conference

Bishop Eugene Hurley of Darwin also shared passionately on his experiences of meeting with people during his time as Bishop of Port Pirie up to today, often inside detention centres such as Woomera, Baxter and Curtin.


‘I don’t like to talk about the boats, because when we talk about the boats, we can dehumanise the issue. We can easily forget that there are people in those boats whose stories we don’t know”, he said.

Sudanese migrant chaplains

Director of the ACMRO Fr Maurizio Pettenà CS was pleased with the number of people who came to hear such a wide variety of perspectives on the situation for migrants and refugees in Australia.

“From presentations by Catholic bishops to committed religious and lay people who have been working tirelessly for the rights of migrants and refugees, we heard testimony of how Australia has been so greatly enriched by migration.  This said, we have also been able to learn and understand more clearly how the politics of fear have damaged our image as a welcoming nation. This has been sobering, challenging but essential”, he said.

For media requests or to arrange an interview please contact Beth Doherty on 0407 081 256 or email your request to

Typhoon Bopha leaves a path of destruction in the Philippines

Typhoon bopha

Media Release, 6 December

Typhoon Bopha has wreaked havoc in the Philippines as it struck land on Tuesday morning killing at least 300 people and leaving another 300 people missing.  The typhoon hit eastern Mindanao and ripped through central Mindanao through Bukidnon province, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City.  Hardest hit were the coastal, farming and mining towns in the southern region of Mindanao, where Bopha caused severe flash flooding and landslides leaving behind a path of destruction and despair. Raging waters and mud from the mountains swept through school buildings, covered courts, town halls and health centres.

Continue reading

NCEC Media Statement – Australia Education Bill, 2012


“The legislation introduced into Parliament yesterday by the Prime Minister charts an ambitious course for school reform”, said Mrs Therese Temby, Chair of the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC).

“Catholic schools are already engaged in many effective programs of continuous improvement, as envisaged by the Prime Minister’s National Plan for School Improvement”, she said.

“NCEC urges the government to announce the details of its precise school funding proposals for 2014 and beyond as soon as possible. Continue reading

Advent on the go with Caritas Australia

Advent Jesse tree

Due to overwhelming popularity, Caritas Australia’s Advent calendar based on the ancient Christian symbol of the Jesse tree has returned for Christmas 2012.

In Advent, the Jesse tree reminds us of Biblical characters and events that prepared God’s people for the birth of Jesus. Join Caritas Australia and use the Jesse tree to reflect, pray and act in solidarity with their partners and for the world’s poor.

“Christmas is a precious time of year and one I cherish personally,” said Jack de Groot, CEO, Caritas Australia. “Let us reflect and rejoice this season of Advent as we herald the birth of our saviour, Jesus Christ. Continue reading

Crisis in Congo – Church leaders say DRC on brink of war

Congolese women – Caritas Australia

Media Release, 23 November, 2012

Fear and insecurity has sent tens of thousands of innocent civilians into hiding and flight as the M23 Rebels now occupy Goma, the main city in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The military spokesperson of the M23 has now publically declared that the rebels are prepared to march onwards to take over the country’s capital, Kinshasa should the people “invite” them.

Caritas is extremely concerned that water and electricity supplies have been cut off; accentuating the panic and uncertainty amongst the city of one million people. Continue reading

International Day of People with Disability – Removing barriers to create inclusive society

Banner – International Day

Media Release, November 26, 2012

The International Day of People with Disability is celebrated on 3 December each year, with this year’s theme of, “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all.”

Bishop Terence Brady, the Australian Bishops’ Delegate for Disability Issues, said that there is much evidence of the types of barriers that are faced by people with disability, and that Church communities can find ways to address these.

“Barriers can take a variety of forms, including those relating to the physical environment or to information and communications technology (ICT), or those resulting from legislation or policy, or from societal attitudes or discrimination.” Continue reading

National Catholic Education Commission Meeting – report

Hand up in the classroom

The one hundred and ninety-seventh NCEC meeting was held on Thursday 15 November 2012 at the Catholic Education Office, Melbourne.

This was the final meeting of this particular Commission (its four-year term of office runs from January 2009 to December 2012), and the Chair, Mrs Therese Temby, thanked Commissioners for their important work on behalf of Catholic education over what had been a very busy period.

Logo for NCEC

The Chair of the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education (BCCE), the Most Rev Greg O’Kelly SJ, also thanked Commissioners for their important contribution to the national Catholic education debate. On behalf of BCCE, Bishop O’Kelly also thanked Mrs Temby for her invaluable work as Chair of NCEC. Continue reading