Tag Archives: Migrants & Refugees

Bishop Long welcomes government commitment towards refugees

bigstock-125710307_200The announcement by Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, at the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees in New York that Australia will maintain its humanitarian refugee intake at 18,750 from mid-2018 is to be welcomed, Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen ofm conv said today.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, who also attended the summit, reminded those present that, ‘The primary cause of today’s refugee and migrant crisis is man-made: namely, wars and conflicts’, the Bishops Delegate for Migrants and Refugees said.

‘The solution to the refugee crisis is not simply accepting refugees who are fleeing their country, but promoting peace in their homes so that they do not have to leave in the first place.’

‘To this end, we are encouraged by the Prime Minister’s pledge in providing an additional 130 million dollars in support of peace building and assistance to refugees.’

‘Australia, which has had a long tradition of welcoming and resettling refugees throughout its history, can be more generous and humane towards asylum seekers and refugees.’ Continue reading

Scale of migration from Syria is staggering, Bishop Rabbat told Colloquium on Christian-Muslim relations

Bishop Robert Rabbat

Bishop Robert Rabbat

The sixth annual Bishop Joe Grech Memorial Colloquium has been held in Melbourne, at Australian Catholic University. This year, the Australian Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) convened the Colloquium, in association with ACU.

Father Maurizio Pettena, Director of the ACMRO, introduced the speakers, His Eminence Bishop Robert Rabbat, the Eparch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of Australia and New Zealand, Mr Bayram Aktepe, President of the Islamic Council of Victoria, and Scalabrian priest Father Fabbio Baggio, a dean and professor at the Pontifical University in Rome.

The theme for the 2016 Colloquium was ‘Ethics and Migration’, with the topic, ‘Christian-Muslim relations in a persecuted region and the impact on immigration.’ In his introductory remarks,   Father Pettena reminded the audience that this week is the week leading up to the 102nd World Day for Migrants and Refugees on Sunday 28 August.

Pope Francis has chosen the theme for this year’s World Day: ‘migrants and refugees challenge us – the response of the gospel of mercy’. Justice without mercy, says Pope Francis, does not constitute true and lasting justice. Continue reading

Detention and the Human Person

Refugee men and fence. Refugee concept

I would like to begin by expressing my sincere condolences to the friends and family of Omid Masoumali, in particular his wife, after his tragic death on Friday 29 April, writes Fr Maurizio Pettenà, Director of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office.

It is of particular concern that, only days later a second person, a young Somali woman by the name of Hodan Yasin, set herself alight on Monday 2 May after being returned from Australia to Nauru. She is now in a critical condition in a Brisbane Hospital.

This is the second occurrence of self-immolation in as many days. We have been exposed to the extreme end to which the hopelessness of detention can lead to. It is becoming more and more clear that the mental health of those left in limbo as a result of ongoing detention and a lack of resolution as to their immigration status is deteriorating at an alarming rate.

It is my concern that the dignity of the human person is increasingly lowered among the priorities when discussing policy around refugees and asylum seekers. At a time where mental health is more and more at the forefront of the psyche of our communities, it is alarming that people placed in the ‘care’ of Australia in places of detention are left to spiral into hopelessness. Continue reading