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Bishop challenges ‘fighting’ words on asylum

Generosity urged for asylum seekers

AUSTRALIAN Catholic Social Justice Council chairman Bishop Christopher Saunders has challenged the Federal Government’s claims of “fighting a war” on asylum seekers. “If it is a war, then it is being fought against wretched and defenceless people,” he said. “We are ignoring the most important issue – the millions of people in our region and around the world who need ... Read More »

Church agency wary about closure of detention centres

Father Maurizio Pettenà

THE Federal Government’s decision to close four immigration detention facilities in Australia has drawn mixed reactions from the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office.ACMRO national director Scalabrinian Father Maurizio Pettenà welcomed the decision, but questioned the fate of those not reaching Australia’s shores for asylum as a result of Government policies. “If these people are not coming to Australia, where ... Read More »

Parliamentary prayer holds broad appeal

Archbishop Mark Coleridge

POLITICIANS calling for an end to the saying of The Lord’s Prayer to open Federal Parliament should realise the prayer has Jewish as well as Christian connections. Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, a noted scripture scholar, said The Lord’s Prayer was “in fact largely Jewish in its inspiration, concepts and language”. “Therefore it offends neither Jewish nor Muslim sensibility – given ... Read More »

Townsville leader reflects on living a year with cancer

Bishops at Wynberg

“I AM happy once more to leave my life and work in the diocese, completely in the hands of God. I did that at the beginning of last year and had one of the most amazing years of my life. I am looking forward to what lies ahead, whatever it may be.” Townsville Bishop Michael Putney, with these and other ... Read More »

Prison problems set to hurt the community

prisoner's hands through fence

CONSECUTIVE Queensland governments have ignored evidence that the prison system is not working – and the community is at increased risk because of it. That’s the opinion of Catholic Prison Ministry coordinator Dave Martin after many years intensive experience with Queensland’s prison system. “Prisons are purportedly used for punishment, as a deterrent; to protect the community, and to rehabilitate,” he ... Read More »

Major support for Church’s council

Reading glasses on pile of paper

“HUGE support” for the work of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council is coming from lay people within the Church and from religious and parish priests working on the ground. TJHC chief executive officer Francis Sullivan said a year on from the council’s establishment, support from bishops and religious leaders around Australia had never been stronger. “Without the support and ... Read More »

Look on asylum seekers with compassion

Generosity urged for asylum seekers

CATHOLICS have been called upon to look on asylum seekers with compassion and mercy “in the spirit of Christmas”. Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office director Fr Maurizio Pettenà said this year more than 6000 asylum seekers would spend Christmas in immigration detention facilities. Australian Catholic Bishops Delegate for Migrants and Refugees Bishop Gerard Hanna said “while (Government) policy is ... Read More »

Adoption reform gathering speed

LIFE-AFFIRMING independent advocacy group Women’s Forum Australia have welcomed Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s commitment to reform inter-country adoption processes in Australia. Women’s Forum Australia have been conducting research and education campaign into adoption barriers in Australia since August this year. Research committee member Dr Joanna Howe, who last month spoke at the annual Cherish Life dinner in Brisbane, said the ... Read More »

Archbishop gives testimony at Royal Commission

Royal Commission

By PAUL DOBBYN BRISBANE Archbishop Mark Coleridge has described his recent appearance as witness at the Royal Commission hearings as “draining” but also encouraging. “The experience made it clear to me that everyone involved, for all their differences of perspective, wants the same result – healing for victims, a safer world for children and a purified Church,” Archbishop Coleridge said. ... Read More »

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