The UN COP27 and COP15 are coming up in the next two months. These are key opportunities for global leaders to make the commitments necessary to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius and put protections in place to protect the beautiful biodiversity in God’s creation. A new State of the Environment Report discusses the tragic impacts on Australia already and more information and resources will be provided by the office in the next weeks.
You are invited to contact your local Federal parliamentarians to join your voice with calls to end Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEVs). The federal government has committed to this however there is no timeline in place, meaning people seeking asylum continue to be in limbo. Advocates across the country are asking for this and for people seeking asylum to finally be granted permanent protection.
Bishop Vincent Long van Nguyen welcomes the newly appointed Director of the ACBC Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace, Mr Peter Arndt who commences in the role on 10 October 2022. Peter Arndt has been the Executive Officer of the Catholic Justice & Peace Commission in the Archdiocese of Brisbane and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in working in parish, diocesan and international settings. Peter will continue to work in Brisbane and travel to Canberra when needed.
Damien Gardiner has been appointed as the new Disability Projects officer of the ACBC. Mr Gardiner’s role will be to carry forward efforts to promote the full participation of people with a disability in the life of the Church. Bishop Tim Norton SVD, the Bishop Delegate for Disabilities Issues welcomed him, “Through his professional experience and through his personal faith commitment and practice, Damien is a wonderful addition to the Bishops Conference.”
The 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be held this Sunday, 25 September around the world. The theme for this year is “Building the future with migrants and refugees.” A kit has been developed by the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office which features stories from the community as well as prayers and prayer services for schools and parishes, posters, and reflections for use.
The Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) is holding a National Week of Prayer and Action beginning on 25 September, World Day of Migrants and Refugees and ending on 30 September. On Tuesday 27 September, CAPSA are running an online webinar at 6.30pm AEST featuring four speakers on how we can all use our time, resources, heart and voice to advocate and take action alongside people seeking asylum.
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) are this week conducting their national assembly in the diocese of Townsville. After needing to be rescheduled due to Covid-19, Indigenous Catholics from around the country are travelling to be together and share in their faith, knowledge, and community. The theme for this year’s assembly is, “Holy Spirit in this Land.”
Australia’s bishops have used their annual social justice statement to condemn the scourge of domestic and family violence, saying relationships must be “marked by respect and freedom rather than coercion and control”. This year’s statement is titled Respect: Confronting Violence and Abuse. “The teaching of Christ urges us to promote relationships marked by respect and freedom rather than coercion and control.”
Migrant and Refugee Sunday is on
25 September. The Australian Catholic Migrants and Refugee Office will release the resource kit for this year’s celebrations on 15 August. The resources centre on this year’s theme, “Building the future with migrants and refugees”. It will include stories from local communities, reflection, primary and secondary schools’ prayer rituals and prayers of the faithful to be used for the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees.
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.