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59. To Each as Any Have Need: Justice and health care Dr Elizabeth Hepburn IBVM59. To Each as Any Have Need: Justice and health care
Dr Elizabeth Hepburn IBVM
A constant theme in Catholic teaching is the sanctity of human life. Underpinning that sanctity is the concept of the seamless web.

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Life that is sacred from conception to grave, for poor or rich, neighbour or foreigner. The idea that we have a duty to care for the sick and frail is one that goes back to the roots of Judaic tradition and to the earliest Christian communities. Dr Elizabeth Hepburn, a prominent Australian ethicist and Loreto sister, addresses these issues in this paper.

58. Choice for Whom: A discussion of the 2005 industrial relations laws Dr Tim Battin58. Choice for Whom: A discussion of the 2005 industrial relations laws Dr Tim Battin
When Australia's industrial relations laws are undergoing radical change, Dr Battin offers an analysis of the theory underpinning the 2005 industrial relations legislation.

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He measures that rationale against the precepts of Catholic social teaching. In addition to considering the legislation's moral implications, Dr Battin discusses some of its likely practical and social effects.

57. Catholics and Nature: Two hundred years of environmental attitudes in Australia Fr Charles Rue SSC57. Catholics and Nature: Two hundred years of environmental attitudes in Australia Fr Charles Rue SSC
This paper traces 200 years of environmental attitudes in Australia.

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It points to the faith elements that have helped believers to care for the earth. Fr Rue shows how Christianity and environmental thought fit together. Christianity reminds us that the Earth is bounteous but not infinite, that nature is a sacred trust, that its bounty is to be shared by all and that it is our duty to defend the rights of those who are deprived of a fair share of its riches.

56. From Money to Meaning: Young People and Work The Australian Young Christian Workers Movement56. From Money to Meaning: Young People and Work The Australian Young Christian Workers Movement
The issues addressed in this valuable paper concern young people and casual work.

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This paper shows that in a number of areas where young people are engaged in casual work, the dignity of the human person is neglected. It looks at young people's experiences and attitudes to work. Some of the concerns raised include the working conditions, wages, study, security and protection of casual employees.

55. A Love that does Justice Fr Neil Brown55. A Love that does Justice Fr Neil Brown
This paper discusses the fundamental issues of charity, morality, love and justice, and considers their interconnections in a Christian life.

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Fr Brown examines the different faces of love and sums it up as “following Christ's way of looking at and responding to the world around us”. Justice he names as “the reality check of love”. This link of justice with Christ's love enables us to discern our path when we are presented with valid, but competing claims of justice. Charity, “the gift of Christ's own Spirit to us, is” our feeble human love, challenged and enabled to become adequate to express God's own love in the world.

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54. Trade Justice Sr Suzette Clark rsc and Dr Patricia Ranald54. Trade Justice
Sr Suzette Clark rsc and Dr Patricia Ranald
This paper has been published as a contribution to the Global Week of Action for Trade Justice 2005.

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The Global Week of Action invites all movements and campaigns which are active on international trade issues to take action within their own areas to produce a global impact. Their message is: No to the rich and powerful imposing unjust trade agreements, indiscriminate trade liberalisation and privatisation on the poor; Yes to everyone's right to food, a livelihood, water, health and education.

In this context we could reflect on the 2003 Lenten Message of Pope John Paul II - faced with the tragic situation of persistent poverty which afflicts so many people in our world, how can we fail to see that the quest for profit at any cost and the lack of effective, responsible concern for the common good have concentrated immense resources in the hands of a few while the rest of humanity suffers in poverty and neglect.

53. Ending Hunger: How far can we go? Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR53. Ending Hunger: How far can we go? Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR
In this stirring paper Fr Bruce Duncan shows us the face of inhuman poverty in a world of contrasts between opulence and starvation.

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A world in which, in the words of Pope John Paul II, “the war of the powerful against the weak has, today more than ever before, created profound divisions between rich and poor”.

This paper shows how extreme poverty is preventable, while it documents the huge challenges facing the wealthy nations if they are truly prepared to work towards the Millennium Development Goals. Generosity of spirit as well as material generosity will be needed.

52. The Beatitudes and Justice Fr Gerard Moore SM52. The Beatitudes and Justice Fr Gerard Moore SM
Gerard Moore enunciates the characteristics of the Beatitudes and then asks the crucial question: What does it mean for us to live out today the beatitudes of Jesus?

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He answers by exploring the kind of “heart” they require of us in thorough, deep and thoughtful consideration of each beatitude in turn, drawing on examples from our daily lives and the sad, at times violent and terrifying, world we live in.

This paper would be particularly valuable as a resource for small group discussion and for personal reflection.

51. The Timor Sea's Oil and Gas: What's Fair? Frank Brennan SJ51. The Timor Sea's Oil and Gas: What's Fair? Frank Brennan SJ
Fr Frank Brennan SJ considers the vexed debate and complex history surrounding current negotiations between Australia and Timor-Leste concerning the resource sharing arrangements and maritime boundaries of the Timor Sea.

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Fr Brennan addresses two central questions underpinning these negotiations: Should the Parliament of Timor-Leste pass legislation approving an agreement between the governments of Timor-Leste and Australia giving the security needed for the joint ventures to proceed with the Greater Sunrise project next year? What is a fair process and a fair outcome for the negotiation of maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea where Timor-Leste has competing interests and conflicting claims with Australia and Indonesia?

50. The Church and Public Debate: Reflections on Speaking Out in an Election Year John Warhurst50. The Church and Public Debate: Reflections on Speaking Out in an Election Year John Warhurst
In this paper, Professor John Warhurst addresses the complex issue and the practical implications of separation of Church and State in contemporary Australian political life.

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He points out that the Church at times effortlessly offends parties across the whole range of the political spectrum as it fulfils its right and duty to speak out from a religious, pastoral or ethical perspective.

John Warhurst presents practical guidelines for ethical and effective Church participation in the public debate, and points out the importance of its independence from government that is sometimes lacking in other organisations.

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49. From Ethics to Spirituality Gerald Gleeson49. From Ethics to Spirituality Gerald Gleeson
The author demonstrates through close analysis of the familiar exhortation of the prophet Micah: we are 'to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with our God'.

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Distilling some of the key philosophical and theological insights of the Catholic moral tradition into clear, simple, observations, he concludes that 'the bigger story is the story of salvation in Christ, of the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, which alone make ethical life possible, and of the virtue of humility, which is the practical foundation of our Christian lives in which we aspire to the heights to which God is calling us'. This paper shows us the path towards development of an interior disposition that confidently reflects the mind of Christ. Our responses must be embedded in prayer, enriched through Scripture, and nurtured in the Sacraments by means of a life in communion together.

48. The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor: The Magnificat Revisited Sr Marie Farrell rsm48. The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor: The Magnificat Revisited Sr Marie Farrell rsm
Linking the Old Testament tradition of the anawin, the poor of Yahweh who wait for justice in the coming of the Messiah, with fulfilment in the person of Jesus as the Christ.

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Sr Marie Farrell shows how this prayer of Mary gives perfect expression to the cry of the poor. Through reflection on the Magnificat as the “great canticle of discipleship” we are reminded of our own responsibility to hear the cry of justice for the poor, the oppressed, the marginalised and those seeking a safe haven in our land.

47. War on Iraq: It is Just? Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR47. War on Iraq: It is Just? Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR
This document criticises the reasons given by the US and Australian governments for a war on Iraq as 'contrived and misleading'. It argues that the proposed military intervention violates the just war conditions and hence should be rejected as unjust.

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The statement argues that no just cause has been established for war, as there is no convincing proof that Iraq aided the terrorist attacks on the United States and neither does it present an imminent threat. It argues that the claim to a right of pre-emptive strike is specious, lacks due authority and risks undermining the fundamental principles of international relations.

46. A Fair Society? Common Wealth for the Common Good: Ten Years On Veronica Brady IBVM, Michael Costigan, Julian Disney AO, Bruce Duncan CSsR, Robert Fitzgerald AM, Thomas Keneally AO, Lowitja O'Donoghue AC, John Phillips AM, John Warhurst46. A Fair Society? Common Wealth for the Common Good: Ten Years On Veronica Brady IBVM, Michael Costigan, Julian Disney AO, Bruce Duncan CSsR, Robert Fitzgerald AM, Thomas Keneally AO, Lowitja O'Donoghue AC, John Phillips AM, John Warhurst

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Responses to the invitation for tenth anniversary reflections on Common Wealth for the Common Good have come from distinguished Australians. All are respected and well-known observers of the state of the nation, often quoted in the media with wise observations on where Australia stands and where the country is heading.

What they see today is a nation still facing some of the questions raised by Bishops ten years ago, together with a number of new issues. They find that the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” has continued to widen.

Among the more noteworthy developments recorded by our commentators have been the nation's economic growth during this decade, the successful control of inflation, the fall in the official level of unemployment, the introduction of the goods and services tax, the results of financial deregulation, the rise in the average wealth of Australian households, the problems occurring in the rural sector and the obstacles facing the movement for reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people.

45. Christian Conscience and Social Justice Fr Neil Brown45. Christian Conscience and Social Justice Fr Neil Brown
This paper examines the factors involved in the formation of an adult conscience and shows how if it is based on our faith in Christ it does not exist in a vacuum, but challenges us in every area of our lives.

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Care for God's creation, acknowledgement of the life and dignity of the human person, the call to family and community, the protection of human rights, will all be developed and enhanced as we develop our Christian conscience which is founded, as the author points out, on the person, life, teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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44. The Call to Hospitality: Catholic Teaching on Refugees Sandie Cornish44. The Call to Hospitality: Catholic Teaching on Refugees Sandie Cornish
The paper opens with an overview of the 1992 Vatican document - Refugees: A Challenge to Solidarity, which provides a systemic presentation of the Church's teachings in this area.

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Section 2 examines the key documents of Catholic Social Teaching and Section 3 analyses the Papal World Migration Day messages and identifies their recurrent themes, providing us with guidelines for action. Finally, recent interventions of the Holy See at the United Nations are listed, completing a comprehensive study of the Church's position on refugees, asylum seekers, forced displacement and migration. This paper is a very valuable resource for those engaged in work on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers and for the thoughtful Catholic seeking the foundation of Church teaching on this divisive issue.

43. A Spirituality for Justice Fr Gerard Moore SM43. A Spirituality for Justice Fr Gerard Moore SM
This paper examines various perspectives that lead us to justice: in education, a spirituality for justice will not only contain a hunger for knowledge, we need also to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

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A sense of wonder, of humility, of hope; all these are part of our ongoing conversion. The inspiration of a vision will balance the helplessness that can overwhelm us when we hear only of instances and practices of injustice. Our impetus for this conversion requires understanding and exploring a cluster of attitudes in the light of fundamental questions such as neighbour, creation, symbol, worship, the Word, and sin. Finally, the question of a specific Christian politics is explored, knowing that the naming and renaming of Christ as the centre of our lives leads ineluctably to a politics of the good.

42. Religion and Justice in Australian Short Fiction Michael McGirr42. Religion and Justice in Australian Short Fiction Michael McGirr
This paper is based on Michael McGirr's research for a forthcoming anthology of Australian religious stories. McGirr points out that although the Australian frontier has moved from the bush to the suburbs, religious and spiritual issues still burn.

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Observing that justice has been a yardstick for all sorts of writers to measure the validity of the religious experience of their characters, he comments on Lawson's wry, pragmatic spirituality; the injustices, sometimes in the guise of religion, committed during the convict era; and issues of religion and justice dealt with by Thea Astley, Elizabeth Jolley and Amy Witting whom McGirr acknowledges as important wisdom figures in our culture.

Dealing with experiences of alienation in our literature through stories of war and violence, he gives examples of how the profound sense of most painful injustice in the experience of the holocaust during World War II impacts on a capacity to believe or not.

41. Life: Creation or Commodity? The Case Against Patents on Living Things Sean McDonagh SSM41. Life: Creation or Commodity? The Case Against Patents on Living Things Sean McDonagh SSM
A noted campaigner on justice and ecology matters, McDonagh argues that life, which was once considered sacred and a gift from God in almost all the religions and cultures of the world, is now seen as a human invention – a collection of genes and chemicals that can be engineered and bought and sold by a patent holder.

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The Bible shows that everything was created by a living God and, although humans are stewards of creation, that does not mean that they are inventors or owners of life who can dominate and exploit everything in creation. He advocates promotion of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, set up to protect global biodiversity and to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of any financial benefits derived from biological and genetic resources.

40. The Death Penalty: Why Catholics should oppose it Dr Michael Costigan40. The Death Penalty: Why Catholics should oppose it Dr Michael Costigan
This paper traces the dramatic development of Church teaching and action during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II and shows that the Church now places the death penalty firmly within the context of pro-life advocacy on such issues as abortion and euthanasia.

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Opponents of the death penalty, while fully sympathising with the sufferings of victims of violent crimes, accept the Pope's teaching, that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. In word and deed Pope John Paul II has encouraged us to embrace the Gospel of Life and the Gospel of Forgiveness over the Culture of Death.

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