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Bishops welcome asylum seeker cooperation with Indonesia

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has welcomed news that Australia and Indonesia will work together to focus international attention on refugees and asylum seekers.

In a statement released on Friday, the Bishops said Australia must be deeply involved in seeking an international solution to combat people smuggling and to find settlement for those suffering. It must also "seek ways to eliminate the root causes of enforced population movements".

The Bishops pointed out that Australians are "a people rich in material blessings, with an enviable record of welcome to refugees". They said Australians should continue to be generous by showing compassion to those who call on us for help.

The statement pointed out that Australia has benefited greatly from the contributions of its citizens who arrived as refugees and asylum seekers.

"Our generosity will now enrich our nation in the future," they concluded. "Let's not be afraid to open our hearts and our country to these people."

Australian Catholic Migration and Refugee Office
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