To mark Australia Day, the Catholic Bishops Commission for Justice, Ecology and Development calls upon political parties to work towards a common approach to asylum seekers, so that human beings do not become pawns in a political argument. Further, and more immediately, to honour the Australian sense of justice and compassion, there must be a defined limit to incarceration in detention centres for people who are not criminals. The Bishops are calling on the Government to limit detention to three months.
Four of the Bishops who signed this statement minister directly to asylum seekers in immigration detention centres located in their dioceses. Bishop Julian Porteous, Auxiliary Bishop in Sydney, supported the opinions of the other Bishops who have direct involvement in the pastoral care of asylum seekers in detention. “Prolonged and indefinite detention in these facilities can only produce psychological damage”, he said. 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 →
Social Justice Sunday was celebrated in parishes over the weekend of 24 September and this year’s statement by the bishops is on a unique and timely subject: prisons and the justice system. The statement is hopeful and reflects the Gospel-inspired dream of human dignity held by the Church for some of the most undervalued members of our society. It also wonders aloud about a system in this country which falls terribly short.
The CEO of Jesuit Social Services Julie Edwards spoke on our justice system as she opened the National Justice Symposium held at Australian Catholic University over the weekend of 21-22 October, a symposium specifically on this topic.
She said: “We want a community where people flourish and get to reach their potential. We want to bring this type of community into being through evidence-based assessments and respect for human dignity, not just knee-jerk reactions. Let’s not have a shallow, superficial and populist conversation. We want to help people turn their lives around. We need to step back and ask, “What does a humane, effective justice system look like?” Continue reading →
Two years ago I was researching material for a new book. The book Call and Response is the resource that the Catholic Enquiry Centre supplies to those who enquire seeking information about the Catholic faith. In the midst of research and writing three significant things happened. The first was we received an enquiry from a priest asking if we had any catechetical resources that might be suitable for a person with impaired vision. Continue reading →