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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.

Yellow speech bubble is in the centre of the image with "FROM THE HEART" in white writing next to it. Underneath is black text reading "". All on a background of red sand.

Uluru Statement from the Heart

An update is provided on the Uluru Statement from the Heart after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announcing that the referendum for the Voice to Parliament will occur in the 2023-2024 Financial year. The Australian Catholic Bishops endorsed the Statement last November and Dean Parkin spoke at the NATSICC Assembly. Resources and ideas for grass roots promotion are available through a new website.

The two emblems of COP27 and COP15 on a white background and aqua border.

Looking Ahead to COP27 and COP15

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.

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.

Hand reaching through wire fence

Cardinal Zen Arrested

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Retired Hong Kong Cardinal Zen was arrested on 11 May and faces charges “simply because he served as a trustee of a fund which provided legal aid to activists facing court cases” says Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences President Cardinal Charles Bo. Cardinal Bo has called for prayer for Cardinal Zen on 24 May, the Feast of Mary Help of Christians.

Close up picture of an Immigration Australia stamp

Faith Leaders Release Statement Calling for the End of TPVs

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Australian faith leaders including Archbishop Coleridge, then President of ACBC, have joined together to call for permanent protection for people on Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs). Even though many people on TPVs are refugees, they are still denied permenant protection and the stability of knowing they can make a long-term home in Australia. Campaign spokesman, Rev. Tim Costello urged political leaders to ‘do something that is ultimately good for all Australians’.

Yellow background with the text, "Be Brave. Make change. National Reconciliation Week, May 27 - 3 June.

Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week

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Sorry Day (26 May) and Reconciliation Week (27 May-3 June) both focus on alleviating personal, social and cultural injustice that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have faced from non-Indigenous Australia. The onus of these weeks are on non-Indigenous organisations, people and groups to take steps to “Be Brave. Make Change.” This is the theme of this year’s week and Reconciliation Action Plans are a good first step.

"A Place to Call Home" image, a cartoon of a man with a house and flowers in the background. Logos of Jesuit Refugee Service and Western Sydney University are in the top corners

“A Place To Call Home” Report Released

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Jesuit Refugee Service – Australia and the University of Western Sydney have released their report on the experience of homelessness and exclusion from housing experienced by people seeking asylum. The report found that the policies of the Federal government forced people seeking asylum into continual financial stress that detrimentally affected people’s ability to have housing, one person even staying in a small room in a car park in exchange for work.

Stylised globe with the text "UN climate change conference UK 2020"

Now is the Time to Act

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In his message to COP26, Pope Francis said that “now is the time to act, urgently, courageously and responsibly.” Dr Sandie Cornish suggests that rather than being a cause for despair, the modest outcomes of COP26 should serve as a call to renewed action by every part of society. She reflects on COP26 and enrolling in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.