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Three images of women at a protest are pieced together, each with a green, purple or grey overlay. The text "Social Justice Statement 2022-23, Respecti, Confronting Violence and abuse" is in white at the top of the image. Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is written in small white writing at the centre of the image at the bottom with the corresponding logo.

Social Justice Statement 2022-23

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Respect: Confronting Violence and Abuse points out that the roots of domestic and family violence “lie in the abuse of power to control and dominate others” and that “this stands in contrast to the relationships to which God calls us”. Our relationships should be “marked by equality and reciprocity rather than domination and violence, respect and freedom rather than coercion and control”. We reject the manipulation of religious teachings to justify violence and abuse. We support women in calling for respect in relationships; their lives and those of their children are sacred.

Lismore Flood Recovery: “Standing on Holy Ground”

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A personal, on the ground reflection from Catholic Schools Diocese of Lismore Mission team on what Laudato Si’ means to them. They share their experience of ‘Standing on Holy Ground’ as they support each other to clean up after the floods and rebuild after catastrophic flooding where over 12 of their schools had damage to half of its buildings, and three completed inundated. You can support with prayers and responding to their appeal.

A close up picture of a section of a Christmas tree with a wooden ornament that says, "Merry Christmas".

Advent and Christmas Reflection

Peter Arndt, Director of the Office reflects on Advent and particularly on seeing God with us each day. The hustle and bustle of this time of year can stop us seeing and hearing God in our day-to-day lives. He urges us to keep Christ in our celebrations of Christmas by remembering and including people excluded from society and our brother and sisters in the environment in our celebrations. Peter farewells Patrice Moriarty who is moving on from her support of the Office.

A picture of the Closing the Gap report which has a red dust coloured background and a simple dot painting on the right hand side of several concentric circles linked together by a path of white dots.

New Commonwealth Closing the Gap Report

The first Commonwealth Closing the Gap report has been released after the National Agreement on Closing the Gap in 2020. The National Agreement focuses on prioritising partnerships between governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Community-Controlled Organisations with four priority areas. There are also 17 socio-economic outcomes, four of which were on target.

A mother sits with her son look together at a piece of paper on a coffee table.

Update on the 2022-2023 Budget and Asylum Seekers

The Federal government released their 2022-2023 budget after the election. Although there is new funding available to speed up visa processing which is years behind, and there is a review on Australia’s multicultural policies and more support for people learning English, there was no commitment to permanency for those on temporary visas and no increased refugee intake.

A women with down syndrome is reading something from her laptop in a modern apartment.

Pope Francis’ Message on the International Day of People with Disability

Pope Francis released a message on the International Day for People with Disability. In it he spoke of people with disability’s role in teaching the rest of the church about their own experience, on building a welcoming, warm and inclusionary church as well as gift of their strength and faith to the church. He said, “with regard to the disabled – there can be no us and them, but a single us, with Jesus Christ at the centre, where each person brings his or her own gifts and limitations.”

A view of a table from overhead. A present is wrapped with recycled green paper, brown rope thread and a red Christmas tree stamp.

Living Laudato Si’ at Christmas

How do we continue to seek ecological conversion during Christmas a time that can easily become about consumption and materialism. This reflection gives you ideas for how to have a Laudato Si’ Christmas. “Invite Christ who became human just like us to replace our longing for stuff with a longing for a simple and sustainable life, for justice and peace in our world and for a commitment to caring for our common home.”

WATCH: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Event

On 25 November, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace worked with ACRATH, Jesuit Refugee Service and Small Steps 4 Hannah to provide an online workshop to advocate for the elimination of violence against women and girls, and against domestic and… Read More »WATCH: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Event

A picture of a tropical island and the surrounding water from above. Beautiful dark blue water changes to vibrant aqua around the small green island.

A Laudato Si’ Inspired Conference: Our Ocean Home

On November 28-30, the Laudato Si’ Inspired Conference: Our Ocean Home will take place online from 3-5pm each day. This event includes “storytelling, reflection, practical theology, scientific exploration and dialogue from across Oceania in preparation for the 2023 Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania (FCBCO) Assembly in Fiji”. Registrations are open.

A woman stands up with her fist in the air in an auditorium full of people.

From the Office

Peter Arndt, director of the ACBC Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace reflects on the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Pacific Islanders who have gone to global summits like COP27. He writes that they are often left feeling frustrated and angry at being forced to the peripheries of power. We must be together with them at the peripheries and follow their lead. It is there we will meet Jesus and make progress, together.

Event for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Join us on November 25 at 3pm AEDT for an online event for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, highlighting the Bishops 2022-2023 Social Justice Statement, Respect: Confronting Violence and Abuse. Speakers include Bishop Vincent Long, Miichael Jeh, an Ambassador for Small Steps 4 Hannah organisation, Sr Christian Carlan from ACRATH and Shatha Jago from JRS. Registrations now open.

Uncle Paul Kabai faces camera standing in his garden in the Torres Strait. Source: NITV / Kiera Jenkins

Torres Strait Islanders Take Action

A group of eight Torres Strait Islanders have gone to the United Nations to bring a complaint against the Australian Government for failing to protect their human rights in the face of rising sea levels. With rising waters effecting their food gardens, cemeteries and coast lines, the group successfully argued their point and the UN supported their complaint. An in-depth article by SBS goes into detail on the process and the climate heroes involved.