23 December 2011
The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office today urged both political parties to show moral leadership over the Christmas period with regard to policy debates on asylum seekers and refugees.
Director of the ACMRO Fr Maurizio Pettenà CS expressed the view that people seeking asylum need to be processed in countries who are signatories to the UN Refugee Convention and who can assure them of the opportunity to rebuild their lives in dignity.
“Richer countries like Australia have a moral duty to do more to help the world’s refugees who are mostly hosted by poorer nations” he said.
“Christmas reminds us that it is in giving that we receive. This applies even more so to how much we give to those who seek asylum. Increasing the humanitarian program is an appropriate outcome that both political parties can agree on.” Continue reading →
Bishop Joe Grech and Fr Maurizio Pettena concelebrating Mass with Bishops and Priests in Sydney, May, 2010.
By Fr Maurizio Pettena CS
Bishop Joe is still very much a holy presence in my life. I remember very vividly last year on the 23rd of December when he called me at about 10pm at night and asked me what I was doing.
He said he wasn’t feeling too well. He kept feeling worse, and the doctor recommended that he be hospitalised. On Christmas Eve, he was.
He rang me as he was being admitted to the hospital and asked me if I could come and be with him. A few hours later, I was there in Melbourne at St Vincent’s private hospital where I found him in his usual joking mood.
The doctor came in, amused by the jovial character and positive in his outlook. Continue reading →
Yesterday, I stood in front of the Nativity scene that is displayed in front of St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney and considered it for a moment. The Christmas story, as always during December, is much on my mind and in my prayer this week. Even David Jones just down the road has a beautiful display in its windows of puppets re-enacting the Christmas story, complete with baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the three kings and the angels. A huge group of tourists had gathered to watch the mechanical puppets, taking photos and in some way, celebrating what Christmas is about. Continue reading →
The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) today expressed sorrow over the tragedy which has resulted in the deaths of a possible 160 people, mostly thought to be asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Iran.
This time last year, a similar tragedy occurred when just short of safety, a boat carrying 50 Middle Eastern asylum seekers crashed off the rocks of Christmas Island. Continue reading →
Monsignor John J. Murphy, former Director of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office concluded his journey here on earth, Monday, November 14, 2011. The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office joins the many people who mourn and offer prayers for this truly good and faithful servant of Jesus Christ and of the Church. Continue reading →
The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office offers condolences to the victims of the
terrible tragedy of those who lost their lives off the coast of Indonesia yesterday.
Director of ACMRO, Fr Pettená said “This tragedy heightens the need to provide legal pathways
and more space within our humanitarian program. Australia has been content to resettle around
13,500 refugees per a year for over a decade, while this is generous in comparison to many
countries; it is simply not enough”. Continue reading →
By Fr Maurizio Pettená – Director of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office
The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is part of the community delegation supporting the Federal Government’s positive pathway towards community-based alternatives to immigration detention.
This community delegation is meeting with ministers at Parliament House today and includes: Paul Power, Refugee Council of Australia; Rev. Elenie Poulos, Uniting Church in Australia Assembly; Phil Glendenning, Edmund Rice Centre; Cassandra Goldie, Australian Council of Social Service; Brad Chilcott, Welcome to Australia; Rev. Tara Curlewis, National Council of Churches; Joe Moloney, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference; Alex Pagliaro and Tamara Lions, Amnesty International; Asmi Wood, Australian Federation of Islamic Councils; Kate Gauthier, ChilOut (Children Out of Detention); Jeremy Spinak, Executive Council of Australian Jewry; Padma Menon, Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia.
The following statement was developed by Fr Maurizio and Joe Moloney and outlines the Catholic Church’s position on issues of migration. Continue reading →