Go and live in Indigenous communities: Abbott

Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott challenged church workers to go and live in Indigenous communities as a way of living "the preferential option for the poor".

Delivering the Duhig Address at St Leo's College at the University of Queensland last Thursday, he said church personnel should "live in an Indigenous community as well as lobby on its behalf".

He said: "If the nurse's children attend the local clinic, the teacher's go to the local school.. local people will be confident that the system is finally working for them.

"That would be taking the 'preferential option for the poor' very seriously indeed and would be a modern way of dedicating one's life to God."

In a wide-ranging speech, the Minister also indicated that he was one with Cardinal George Pell in regretting that church institutions today have lost some of their "Catholic culture".

He said: "That there has been a serious decline in the self-confidence of Australian Catholicism cannot credibly be denied."

He cited rising self-confidence in the Pentecostal churches and some recovery in self-confidence among evangelical Anglicans. But that this could "hardly compensate for the loss of belief among members of what's by far the largest Christian denomination".

He suggested the seeds of renewal could be in the World Youth Day preparations.


LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Tony Abbott website
St Leo's College, University of Queensland

10 Sep 2007