Fr Richard Lennan, Professor of Systematic Theology at Boston College, addressed the First Assembly of the Plenary Council as one of its expert advisors. He explained that we need an ‘integral ecclesiology’ to parallel Pope Francis’ ‘integral ecology’.
In a media statement on 14 October 2021, Bishop Long welcomed the end of the Australian offshore detention program in Papua New Guinea. However durable solutions are needed for those refugees and asylum seekers who do not wish to settle there, and the program continues in Nauru.
Bishop Vincent Long, Chair of the Australian Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service has written on the Nuclear Submarine deal by the Federal Government with the United States. “The Australian Government’s decision to buy nuclear-powered submarines has brought to the surface once again big questions around how governments should spend money, particularly during a pandemic.”
“Today’s children and teenagers will face catastrophic consequences unless we take responsibility now.” Pope Francis, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury have released a joint statement on the protection of Creation. They cite the importance of GOP26, “We pray for our leaders who will gather in Glasgow to decide the future of our planet and its people…’To whom much is given, much is required.’ (Lk 12:48).”
The first anniversary of the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Fratelli Tutti was celebrated on 3 October, 2021. The encyclical, which focuses on social friendship and overcoming racism and discrimination through dialogue and encounter has a new website which contains many resources all can use to share its message that we are all one human family. Videos, infographics, reflections, social media graphics, photos and prayers are available.
The Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum, of which the ACBC Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace is a part, is running an ongoing campaign to support the people of Afghanistan. It is looking for people to contact their local member of Parliament and advocate for 20,000 refugee places and permanent protection. Offshore processes will end in Papua New Guinea with the Australia and PNG governments ending their agreement. It will continue on Nauru.
The Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace is co-leading a 40-day prayer campaign based on the Laudato Si’ Goals, for communities joining the Laudato Si’ Action Platform. The prayer campaign begins on 4 October, the Feast of St. Francis, and concludes on 14 November, the World Day of Prayer for the Poor.
The Bishop’s Social Justice Statement 2021-22: Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor, affirms that “we human beings need a change of heart, mind, and behaviour.’ It draws from Scripture, from the theological tradition, from Catholic Social Teaching, and from the wisdom of the world, including the insights of First Nations people.
Around the globe, the Catholic Church will celebrate the World Day of the Poor on 14 November. Pope Francis’ Message for this occasion takes as its starting point the words “the poor you will always have with you” (Mk 14:7). This Discussion Guide offers some starting points for personal or group reflection and discussion.