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Jesuits' new book puts case for morality

In reference to Australia's treatment of asylum seekers, Sydney-based lawyer Fr Frank Brennan has responded to the question of whether there's a place for moral argument when government policy is so popular.

"What place is there for moral argument when government policy is so popular?" he asks in his contribution to a book being launched this evening. "How can citizens contribute to better policy without being sidelined as go-gooders?"

The book, titled Refugees, Morality and Public Policy gathers papers from recent Jesuit Lenten Seminars is being launched by ABC broadcaster Maxine McKew. Contributors include aboriginal elder statesperson Lowitja O'Donoghue, former high level public servant John Menadue, and past international director of the Jesuit Refugee Service and newly appointed leader of the Australian Jesuits Fr Mark Raper.

Fr Brennan, Associate Director of the Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre, noted the timeliness of the publication.

"Both the Liberal Party and the Labor Party are now admitting that there must be a better way to protect our borders and to protect asylum seekers in an Australian way," he said.

"Many Australians are searching for a more workable and more decent policy. They are deeply troubled by the sight of children behind razor wire in the middle of the Australian desert and families in detention on Nauru at Australian taxpayer expense."

Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre

Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre
Bali and Boat People (John Menadue)

6 Dec 2002