Perth archbishop challenges Catholics to bring 'spiritual dimension' to reconciliation debate
Perth's Archbishop Barry Hickey has urged Catholics to bring their spiritual dimensions into the Reconciliation debate.
He said in a statement prior to Sunday's Reconciliation Walk: "The Church's teachings on social justice draw heavily on the spiritual basis of human interaction. Perhaps the most fundamental is the Church's teaching on the dignity of the human person."
The walk was one of the largest assemblies of people in one place ever in the Western Australia, with more than 40,000 people including politicians, and community and Church leaders.
Archbishop Hickey urged support for the walk, emphasising that reconciliation is 'central to our faith'.
He said: "The term 'reconciliation' has deep religious overtones. The issue is beyond politics, sectional interests and ideology."
Auxiliary Bishop Robert Healy represented the archbishop in the walk. He told the local press: "All [the Church's] special celebrations begin with an acknowledgement of the Aboriginal people, usually with a smoking ceremony. Reconciliation is a grace from God and it must become part of our lives."
Participants began by walking through the cleansing smoke of burning eucalyptus leaves. At its most extended, the line of walkers stretched the entire length of the Perth foreshore.
Archbishop Hickey's comments are at: