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Social Justice Statement launched


NSW Governor Professor Marie Bashir AC launched the Australian Catholic Bishops' annual Social Justice Sunday Statement in Sydney yesterday.

The Statement, Peace Be With You: Cultivating a Culture of Peace, addresses issues of peace and conflict - both abroad and at home. Social Justice Sunday is being observed this Sunday.

The Statement highlights important ways Australians can cultivate peace in our families, our communities, in national life and even globally. Issues addressed in the Statement include: the importance of family life, national reconciliation with Indigenous people, justice for asylum seekers, interfaith prayer and dialogue, democratic and multicultural values, aid and development, and national and international security.

Parishes, schools and other groups around Australia have begun to use the Statement as a tool for education and discussion.

Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that the statement pays much attention to the tradition of Papal Messages for the World Day of Peace which was initiated by Pope Paul VI in 1968.

"We have been issuing summaries of each of the peace messages issued by Paul VI and John Paul II and they contain a wealth of important resources for Catholics and people of goodwill generally," Mr Arndt said. "In his peace message this year, Pope John Paul II returned to the theme of educating for peace which Paul VI stressed also," he said.

"The Holy Father insists that educating for peace is a fundamental concern for faith communities," he said. "The Australian Bishops use their statement to encourage us to cultivate a culture of peace in our own hearts and to spread this to our household, our community, our nation and our world," he said.

Social Justice Sunday is also observed by other Australian Christian denominations this weekend. The National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA), which includes the Catholic Church, has made a Social Justice Sunday kit available on its website.

The NCCA kit includes a statement on peace in the context of national security in an "age of uncertainty" that links the breakdown in hopes for peace with racism and other social problems.

"Racist violence, religious, political and ethnic persecution, poverty and hunger, and the abuse of women and children are pervasive," it says. "In our local communities, our families and our homes, security can feel threatened by those who are different from us, by financial pressure and by broken relationships."

Meanwhile the Australian and New Zealand branches of the International Catholic Peace Movement Pax Christi are holding their Annual Conference in Sydney for three days from tomorrow.

Fr Claude Mostowik MSC of Pax Christi NSW said: "The present conflicts, encompassing violence abroad and at home, along with the spiralling fear generated by leaders of nations make the theme of peace and peacemaking more urgent than ever."

Pax Christi has adopted Pope John XXIII's pastoral letter Pacem in terris [Peace on Earth] as its charter. Its methods include the three dimensions of Spirituality, Study and Action.

SOURCE
Social Justice Statement set for launch today (CathNews 22/9/04)
Commission Commits Itself to Peace Education (Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane 20/9/04)
Pax Christi Australia National Conference 2004 (Pax Christi Australia {NSW] Inc. 21/9/04)
National Council of Churches in Australia: Social Justice Sunday 2004

LINKS
Peace is possible: cultivating a culture of Peace (Online Catholics 23/9/04)
Peace Be With You: Cultivating a Culture of Peace (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 2004 Social Justice Sunday Statement 22/9/04)
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council | Order Form | Letter from Archbishop Francis Carroll | Summary | Liturgy Notes | Teachers' Notes | Ten Step Action Leaflet and Prayer Card
Pak Christi Australia (NSW)
Pax Christi Australia (Victoria)
Pax Christi (International)


23 Sep 2004