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Vatican not impressed with Australia's stance on asylum seekers

The plight of unauthorised immigrants in Australia and the federal government's policy of mandatory detention has reached the highest levels of the Catholic church, retired Australian Cardinal Edward Cassidy said.

Cardinal Cassidy, who dined privately with the Pope during a recent visit to Rome, said the church is concerned about conditions in Australia for asylum seekers.

"I think we are very concerned as a church, our bishops here have expressed that," Cardinal Cassidy told the Nine Network.

"And I know that there's been some concern expressed also in the Vatican through our ambassador about the ... treatment and the way some of the camps seem to be run."

The criticism came as Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock said he had received positive indications from other countries about accepting asylum seekers found to be refugees.


9 Apr 2002