THIS year’s Social Justice Sunday Statement challenges Australians to reflect on this nation’s racist past and present.
In many ways, it is a bleak and shameful picture. Sadly the examples of rejection and discrimination overshadow many of the good deeds that Australians have done in welcoming the stranger in their midst and from across the seas.
More than 200 years ago, white settlers failed to recognise the face of Christ in this continent’s indigenous people and dispossessed them of their land, humanity and culture.
Now, in many cases, the descendants of these white settlers are failing to recognise the face of Christ in those seeking to escape persecution from abroad.
We take pride in this being a free country and yet we place in desert prisons asylum seekers whose only crime is to risk their lives to escape dictatorial and often murderous regimes.
How can this attitude towards others who are different from us be justified?
Terrorism has entered our everyday language. It has exacerbated our suspicions and hardened our hearts to others. But it is no excuse for the lack of Christian dignity that many Australians display when it comes to refugees.
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.