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Author Archives: Mark Bowling

Pacific Catholic leader to speak on the poor, climate change and the threat of rising tides

A CHURCH leader who has witnessed Pacific villagers forced from their coastal homes because of rising sea levels is to celebrate Mass in Brisbane next month, and will speak about the poor, the vulnerable and the challenges of climate change. Suva Archbishop Peter Loy Chong, who is president of the Oceania Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences, will concelebrate the World ... Read More »

Eritrean Catholic escapes ‘brutal dictatorship’ and settles in multicultural Australia, raising family

A BRISBANE father-of-three shudders when he thinks of the terror inside Eritrea. “It is a dictatorship, a brutal dictatorship,” former Eritrean Catholic school teacher Tek Tesfaldet said. “The country is a big prison. I got out.” Mr Tesfaldet (pictured) fled Eritrea without a passport 15 years ago, spending time in neighbouring Sudan, before eventually reaching Australia with the help of ... Read More »

Migrants and refugees bring energy and dynamism, says Bishop Vincent Long at Brisbane conference

PARRAMATTA Bishop Vincent Long has praised the contribution of waves of refugees and migrants to Australia during a seminar in Brisbane marking the start of a three-day national conference on Missionary Clergy and Religious in Australia. “Migrants and refugees always bring energy and dynamism to a new country,” Bishop Long said, speaking at the Ninth Bishop Joe Grech Memorial Colloquium ... Read More »

Key Plenary Council topics emerge from final report of the Listening and Dialogue phase

CELIBACY for priests, the role of women, and the inclusion of divorced and remarried Catholics were among “strongly discussed” topics contained in the Plenary Council 2020’s latest report. The final report of the council’s Listening and Dialogue phase captures the voice of more than 222,000 Australians and provides insights into 17,457 individual and group submissions. Plenary council president Perth Archbishop ... Read More »

Church advocates seek lost wages for 22 Pacific Island seasonal workers exploited in Queensland

CATHOLIC religious advocates are pressing federal politicians to support an act of grace payment for 22 Pacific Island seasonal workers exploited and underpaid by a Queensland labour-hire firm. The workers from Vanuatu suffered “appalling treatment” and were underpaid tens of thousands of dollars when they were employed to pick fruit and vegetables in the Lockyer Valley, Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg. “The disgrace of coming ... Read More »

Offshore detention ‘has not been a success’, refugee advocate says as thousands rally for refugees

CATHOLIC leaders have denounced Australia’s tough offshore detention policy as thousands of people rallied in capital cities last weekend, calling for the release of about 800 refugees and asylum seekers remaining on Manus Island and Nauru. “As a bishop and a former boat person, I deplore the detention of our brothers and sisters,” chair of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Commission ... Read More »

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