BRISBANE Archbishop Mark Coleridge, in a message delivered in St Stephen’s Cathedral on World Refugee Day, said caring for people like refugees and asylum seekers is “the surest way to see the face and hear the voice of the real God”.
More than 500 people gathered in the cathedral on June 20 for the prayer service titled A Movement of the Heart.
Catholics and Christians of many other denominations and refugees and asylum seekers of other religions were brought together for the service.
A young Tamil asylum seeker also spoke of his escape from persecution in Sri Lanka and of the pain of separation from his wife and two-year-old daughter.
Brisbane Archdiocesan Catholic Justice and Peace Commission executive officer Peter Arndt said a common theme throughout the prayer service was “the hope that a desire for compassionate and just treatment of asylum seekers would spread throughout the Australian community”.
He said Archbishop Coleridge had delivered a strong message on Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers.
“The message from the archbishop, who was unable to attend the service, was read at the beginning of the gathering,” he said.
“Archbishop Coleridge reminded those gathered for prayer of the recent Australian Bishops’ statement on the treatment of asylum seekers.
“His message said: ‘the surest way to see the face and hear the voice of the real God is to see the faces and hear the voices of those who suffer, people like refugees and asylum-seekers whom no-one wants’.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.