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Justice issues on G20 radar

Justice issues on G20 radar

By Paul Dobbyn

g20 factsBRISBANE’S G20 summit of world leaders in November will be used as an opportunity to engage Catholics with social justice issues both in Australia and abroad.

The archdiocese’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission aims to do this by involving parishes throughout the archdiocese in public consultations and online educational resources.

CJPC executive officer Peter Arndt said the goal was to then encourage parishes to provide input on social justice issues for possible discussion at Brisbane’s G20 summit.

“The issues include human trafficking and slavery, poor working conditions in Australia and overseas, trade inequality and the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers,” he said.

“This is a real opportunity to engage Catholics in responding to injustice and disadvantage faced by the marginalised in the local and global community.”

The G20 is expected to draw up to 4000 delegates and 3000 media representatives, with Brisbane’s CBD locked down for four days between November 14 and 17.

Mr Arndt said the online educational resource would “look at raising some of the issues and concerns within the framework of the canonisation of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II at the end of April”.

“In particular, the resource will look at some of the economic issues both popes raised in their social encyclicals,” he said.

“It will also discuss the economic and globalisation concerns raised by Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).”

Brisbane priest and CJPC member Fr Gerry Hefferan said the G20 “offered a perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the richness of Catholic social teaching at an international event right on our doorstep”.

 “The issues to which the commission plans to draw attention fit in very much with the Pope’s exhortation Evangelii Gaudium,” he said.

“For example, in chapter 4, Pope Francis talks about justice and the economy.

“This also fits in with Archbishop (Mark) Coleridge’s desire that Pope Francis’ document will become a charter for the archdiocese’s future direction.”

It is through the C20 Summit in Melbourne in June that Brisbane archdiocese will have an opportunity to give input to the G20 Summit.

Reverend Tim Costello will chair this year’s C20 Summit.

Fr Hefferan said the CJPC would present social justice issues discussed in Brisbane archdiocese at the C20 summit.

“So all of this is an opportunity for Brisbane’s Catholics to become more aware of social justice issues and possibly even have some input into the G20 Summit,” he said.

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