The Catholic Church will provide Kosovar refugees with pastoral care if they are given temporary asylum in Australia, according to Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office Director Fr John Murphy.
    "It's a big role. It's the srot of thing we are good at," he said.
    Fr Murphy represented the Catholic Church at a meeting between representatives of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and community groups last week to discuss the community's role in the crisis response.
    He said the Church has pledged its support for the refugees, and is awaiting specific instructions from the department.
    He said that while the government would provide food shelter and other basic necessities, churches may be called on to supply material goods in addition to their counselling role.
    Fr Murphy described the Federal Government's offer of temporary asylum to 4000 refugees from Kosovo at "generous". "I would hope that we could take more, but I doubt that we have the capacity."
    He said that Australia has a responsibility to respond to the refugee crisis on humanitarian grounds, even though it has not been involved in the military action.

Donations for Kosovo can be made by calling Caritas on 1800 024 413, or by mail to GP Box 9830 in your capital city.

2:14pm 14/4/99 / Catholic Weekly


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