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Social Justice resolutions dominate Bishops' plenary meeting


Australia's Catholic bishops yesterday concluded their twice-yearly plenary meeting, in which they approved racism as the subject of this year's Social Justice Sunday statement.

They determined that the title of the Statement will be A Generous Heart in the Love of Christ: Challenging Racism in Australia Today.

The Statement will touch on a number of areas of concern to the Church in Australia, including the plight of asylum seekers and refugees. The bishops expressed a strong sense of concern especially for those in detention and the East Timorese threatened
with expulsion.

The meeting also ratified the mandate of Catholic Earthcare Australia, which seeks to promote ecological conversion in the Church and the wider community.

Other discussions include a renewed focus on ways of reaching out to the marginalised in society, and measures to maintain and strengthen the Church's mission to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. The bishops discussed an interim report about a major nationwide consultation on the Church's response to the needs of people with a range of disabilities.

The bishops noted that they were meeting in the shadow of the recent conflict in Iraq and stressed the Church's concern for the humanitarian impact of the war. Their overseas aid agency, Caritas Australia, has already provided $280,000 in emergency aid for Iraq, which helped fund the purchase of medical aid and equipment, and the bishops were keen to find concrete ways of supporting the Christian communities of Iraq and the Middle East.

SOURCE
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

LINKS
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
Catholic Earthcare Australia


16 May 2003