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Focus on faith

Focus on faith

By Paul Dobbyn AN “overwhelming religious illiteracy” in Catholic schools and the loss of Catholic identity in public life were among issues discussed at the gathering of the Oceania bishops in New Zealand. More than 80 bishops and delegates attended the Assembly of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania in Wellington from May 12 to 16. Topics discussed ... Read More »

Budget dismay

Budget dismay

By Paul Dobbyn THE 2014-15 Federal Budget’s widespread cuts to welfare, health, education and foreign aid have drawn sharp criticism from Catholic agencies. The cuts include changes to family benefits, resuming fuel excise increases, a $7 health care co-payment for GP visits and an estimated $7.6 billion decrease in foreign aid funding over the next five years. Federal Treasurer Joe ... Read More »

Bishop condemns the Manus solution as lacking moral worth

Bishop condemns the Manus solution as lacking moral worth

By Peter Bugden THE scarred face of a man he met in the Curtin Immigration Detention Centre, in Western Australia, is one Bishop Christopher Saunders will never forget. The image of that man came back to Bishop Saunders on the day (May 8) the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference issued a statement calling for the end of the “institutionalised cruelty” of ... Read More »

Planning for health care

Planning for health care

CATHOLIC Health Australia and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference have released a document to help ensure people think about their health care needs and discuss them with others. The Advance Care Planguide, which is accompanied by documents for health care professionals and for people receiving care, gives people who are in good health and of sound mind the chance to ... Read More »

Strong opposition to proposed changes in Racial Discrimination Act

Strong opposition to proposed changes in Racial Discrimination Act

BRISBANE archdiocese’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has called on the Federal Government to withdraw its proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act. The commission has joined with many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and ethnic community organisations who have expressed concerns about amendments proposed by Attorney-General Senator George Brandis. Brisbane priest Fr Gerry Hefferan, who was full-time chaplain to ... Read More »

‘People deserve a fair go’

‘People deserve a fair go’

  CARITAS Australia acting chief executive officer and international programs manager Jamie Davies as a trained economist understands the need for “fiscal restraint” driving the Federal Budget. But she believes the cutting of nearly $8 billion from Australia’s foreign aid funding in the next five years is a “disproportionate burden”. “Foreign aid cuts represent about 20 per cent of savings ... Read More »

Prison ministry claims services for released prisoners inadequate

Prison ministry claims services for released prisoners inadequate

By Paul Dobbyn  CATHOLIC Prison Ministry co-ordinator Dave Martin has warned rehabilitation of prisoners from Queensland prisons was being threatened by inadequate post release accommodation and other services. The unsatisfactory situation is threatening the safety of the wider community, he said. Mr Martin’s warnings follow findings in the recently released report Post Release Services for Prisoners in South-East Queensland commissioned, ... Read More »

Budget cuts ‘rip the guts out of’ a fair Australia

Budget cuts ‘rip the guts out of’ a fair Australia

By Paul Dobbyn  THE 2014-15 Federal Budget’s widespread cuts to welfare, health, education and foreign aid have drawn sharp criticism from key national and state Catholic agencies. The cuts include changes to family benefits, resuming fuel excise increases, a $7 health-care co-payment for GP visits and an estimated $7.6 billion decrease in foreign aid funding over the next five years. ... Read More »

Bishops say enough is enough of cruelty to asylum seekers

Bishops say enough is enough of cruelty to asylum seekers

By Peter Bugden  THE Australian Catholic bishops have a clear message for the Federal Government and for the broader community, on asylum-seeker policy – “Enough of this institutionalised cruelty”. That was the plea made in a May 8 statement from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference plenary meeting in Sydney. The bishops, making an “urgent plea for a respect for the ... Read More »

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