The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference have released a statement supporting the "Bring Them Here" campaign urging the government to close the offshore detention centres in Nauru and Manus Island and allow asylum seekers to stay in Australia while their claims are being decided upon.
The President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart says, "The Australian Catholic Bishops also deplore the detention of our brothers and sisters on Nauru and Manus Island. While recognising the effort of the Government to find a solution, we say that enough is enough. We call on the Government to bring offshore detainees to Australia while awaiting further decisions on their future.

"We endorse the campaign to ‘Bring Them Here’ to Australia. We pledge the help of our Catholic communities and institutions to welcome and support these refugees when they arrive, including Catholic health, education and social services." 
Sign this petition here from the Refugee Council of Australia to show your support for treating asylum seekers with compassion and Christian love. 



Social Justice Statement 2016 - 2017

A place at the table


On 6 September 2016, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference launched the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement for 2016–17, ‘A Place at the Table: Social justice in an ageing society’. The Archdiocese of Melbourne launched the statement on 15 September 2016 at St. Catherine's Villa Maria Catholic Homes in Balwyn (Melbourne Catholic news article).

The number of Australians aged 65 and over will more than double by the middle of the century. This has been rightly described as ‘the great success story of human development’. Increasing numbers of older people have an excellent chance of enjoying good health and an active life for many years.

The Statement celebrates the value, dignity and significant contributions of older people to the life of the community. In solidarity with all generations, older people have a rightful place in the heart of community life. The Bishops confront the utilitarianism in our society that values people only for what they produce and contribute economically and that, at worst, can regard older people as burdensome or dispensable. The Bishops consider the circumstances of those who are approaching the end of their lives and warn of the loneliness, ageism and abuse that older people can experience. In particular, the Bishops warn about implications of the current community debate on euthanasia. The Bishops call for communities of mercy and love – where people reach out and minister to vulnerable older people, where bonds between generations are built up, and where no one is cast as being a burden or as rivals to younger generations.
To read the Social Justice Statement, and to download useful resources to help your parish, school and community pray, explore and put the statement into action visit the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council website (www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au