ELEVEN Catholic bishops whose dioceses take in the Murray-Darling Basin have joined forces to release a pastoral statement calling for the restoration of the nation’s greatest river system.
The restoration of the rivers in the Murray-Darling Basin is one of the most urgent issues facing the country, says the Catholic Earthcare Australia (CEA) statement endorsed by the bishops whose dioceses include the Murray, Murrumbidgee and Darling rivers.
CEA chairman, Bishop Chris Toohey, whose Wilcannia-Forbes diocese embraces the Murray-Darling Basin, launched the pastoral statement aboard a paddle steamer on the Murray River at Echuca in Victoria on October 11.
With him were Bishop Gerard Hanna of Wagga Wagga and Bishop Peter Connors of Ballarat.
All 11 bishops signed the statement on October 4, the feast of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology, before the launch.
They were: Bishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, Bishop Patrick Dougherty of Bathurst, Archbishop Francis Carroll of Canberra and Goulburn, Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power of Canberra and Goulburn, Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, Bishop Eugene Hurley of Port Pirie, Bishop Joseph Grech of Sandhurst, Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba, Bishop Connors, Bishop Hanna and Bishop Toohey.
‘The Gift of Water – A statement endorsed by the bishops of the Murray-Darling Basin’ cites evidence that the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin are in crisis.
CEA executive secretary Colin Brown said it was hoped each diocese in the basin would take up the issues raised and implement a local action plan.
For the full statement go to: www.catholicearthcareoz.net.