We encourage parishioners to inform us of news items on issues of peace and justice.

 

Eureka Street has this article on our politicians response to non-violent actions in Australia to address the climate change emergency, drawing a comparison to the civil rights movement in the US.

 

The Ignation Solidarity Network has a blog post of the speech given by a student at (Aloysius) Gonzaga College in Washington DC at the Global Climate Strike on 20 September in the US. Here, students at Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College and St Leo’s, who joined in our Action for the Climate Emergency Forum (see the Events page)  were equally passionate, committed and articulate in their speeches for this cause.

 

On September 4 2019, as this article in Crux reports, Cardinal Joseph Tobin in the US joined in a non-violent action against immigration detention, carried out by 400 Catholics, saying:

“I am Joseph, your brother, who has been heartbroken by the inhumanity,” as he called for a stop to immigration detention of children and their families in the US.

 

In his homily for Refugee and Migrant Sunday August 25 2019, Father Frank Brennan said:

After the Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, Pope Francis took up the observations of the Pre-Synodal Meeting repeating in Christus Vivit: ‘In some host countries, migration causes fear and alarm, often fomented and exploited for political ends. This can lead to a xenophobic mentality, as people close in on themselves, and this needs to be addressed decisively’. We Australians can’t just think that he was referring to anyone but us. He had us in mind, just as he had in mind all those from wealthy secure countries who have closed their doors too firmly on those suffering greatly.

Read the full homily on Page 20-21 of the kit from the Australian Catholic Refugee and Migrant Office.

 

Commonweal Magazine in its August 12 2019 edition has an article titled The Criminalization of Journalism?  which discusses recent events impacting freedom of the press in Australia, including reporting on asylum seekers being detained offshore.

 

On June 27 2019 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said:

“The cry of a father and his baby daughter who drowned crossing the Rio Grande reaches heaven itself. 

and:

“This image cries to heaven for justice. This image silences politics.” 

in their statement quoted here on the Ignation Solidarity Network .

 

In 2016 Pope Francis visited the Greek island of Lesvos and met with refugees in the Moria refugee camp. On June 26 2019 Pax Christi International, the International Catholic Peace Movement presented its Peace Prize for 2019 to the organization European Lawyers in Lesvos. Watch this speech from Marie Dennis of Pax Christi International.

 

Eureka Street, the Australian Jesuits’ publication, has this article Separating refugee policy from politics.

 

Sister Susan Connelly is presenting a short course Unmasking Violence – Reimagining the Gospel with René Girard  over four Wednesday mornings starting June 12.

The Sisters of Saint Joseph held a session on Rene Girard’s insights and movie afternoon on Sunday June 2 at the Grail in North Sydney.   See this background page on the series. 

 

Perhaps May’s most uplifting story was of a Cardinal in the Vatican climbing down a manhole to (illegally) restore power for homeless people. As the Cardinal asked, “Why are children in this situation?”

 

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has called for an increase in the minimum wage , arguing that neither employers nor governments are doing enough to support low-paid Australians, and particularly Australian families.

 

Last year Eureka Street had this article on the moral indefensibility of Australia’s desire to become a major arms exporter.   Later in the year,  America, the U.S. Jesuit review magazine, asked readers to consider their regard for the sanctity of life in Yemen  in view of U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Likewise Commonweal magazine referred to what it described as the lethal hypocrisy of U.S. government policy in this area.  Consequently, it is distressing to read this recent ABC report of  Australian arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

 

In December 2018 the Australian Catholics Bishops Conference issued this statement on refugees and asylum-seekers which was reprinted by Vatican news.

 

Eureka Street has this article on the politics of asylum-seeking children.

 

America magazine has this article on the refugee situation in Syria,  which offers insights from an Indian Jesuit on what refugees desire.

 

Médecins Sans Frontières is urging the public to sign this petition to evacuate asylum-seekers and refugees from Nauru with a video from one of its members Dr Christine Rufener who has worked on Nauru.

 

The Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative  seeks to engage Australians in a refugee sponsorship program similar to one that has been operating in Canada for a considerable period of time.

 

On October 14 2018 Pope Francis canonized murdered El Salvador archbishop Oscar Romero, for his courageous defence of human rights for the poor. The Canadian Archdiocese of Toronto has named its haven for refugees in honour of Romero, and, during the week of the canonization, posted this blog on Romero House which has much to offer us in our conversation on how we can help asylum seekers.

 

Closer to home, this group in Victoria Befriend a Child in Detention has for some time been running a  community project committed to seeing an end to the detention of child asylum seekers.