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Australian engagement dismays Social Justice Council

The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council issued a statement noting "with great sadness and deep regret" the decision to declare war on Iraq, expressing its dismay that Australia is now engaged in a war that does not have the support of the United Nations and the international community.

"For the first time, Australia finds itself at war, without the blessing of the Churches, without parliamentary bipartisan support and without a clear mandate from the Australian people." said ACSJC Chairman Bishop William Morris. "We would urge that all efforts be made to bring this conflict to a peaceful solution."

Bishop Morris specified what he meant by peace as "more than simply the absence of war".

"It is a state of well-being that comes from respect for the dignity and rights of both individual people and whole communities," he said.

He urged Catholics to get behind the effort to work for peace "by addressing injustice, excessive economic and social inequalities, envy, distrust and any issues in our society and our world that undermine human dignity and cause war".

He also called for prayer for the Iraqi people, "that one day they may know true justice and freedom".

In Brisbane, Executive Officer of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission Peter Arndt called on Catholics to set aside one hour on this Sunday evening at 6:00 pm and on each Sunday for the duration of the as a "sign of our solidarity with the many people in Iraq and in the defence forces of Australia".

Australian Catholic Social Justice Council/Catholic Justice and Peace Commission Brisbane

Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
Catholic Justice and Peace Commission Brisbane
New document critical of 'contrived and misleading' war initiative (20/3/03)

21 Mar 2003