Respect: Confronting Violence and Abuse points out that the roots of 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.
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.
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’.
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.
Pax Christi is running a one-day conference on Australia’s security on 19 February, 2022. Speakers include Prof. John Langmore AM, Prof. Jocelyn Chey AM, Dr Emma Leslie AM and Dr Sandie Cornish.
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.
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.
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 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.