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Throughout the world, Jubilee Sunday offers Christians the opportunity to remember their Jubilee Year commitment and to act and pray for the people of our world who are burdened by debt. In Australia, the Christian Churches celebrate Jubilee Sunday on the last Sunday in June, which for this year is Sunday, June 26th.

To highlight this occasion, the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council has released a Statement for Jubilee Sunday. It is available on the ACSJC website, www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au

Bishop Christopher Saunders, Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, said, “Great progress has been made in the debt campaign, with a significant announcement being made earlier this month, but we still live in a world where millions live in poverty and there is a great imbalance in the distribution of wealth and resources.”

The ACSJC’s Statement for Jubilee Sunday refers to a recent Pastoral Letter from the Catholic Bishops of Kenya which reflected on a well-known gospel passage to highlight the plight of African nations:

The efforts at debt cancellation that were made till now could be compared to the scraps that Lazarus hoped he could feed on at the rich man's table: they are illusory promises without real substances. Giving to others scraps rather than what they deserve means basically treating them in a sub-human way, not as human beings!

Bishop Saunders commented, “Debt cancellation is a matter of justice, not charity. Poor countries should only have to pay interest on their debts after they have spent what they need to address poverty. They should not have to reduce spending on health, education and other essential services so that they can meet debt repayments.”

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