The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement for 2015–16 challenges Australians to think again about our national response to asylum seekers, especially those who come to Australia by sea.
The Statement is titled ‘For Those Who’ve Come Across the Seas: Justice for Refugees and Asylum Seekers’, and will be launched on September 9 in preparation for Social Justice Sunday on September 27.
“The Statement reminds us of the nearly 60 million people around the world who are displaced from their homes and of the war and violence devastating countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia,” president of the ACBC Archbishop Denis Hart said.
“When people come to us seeking refuge, can we in conscience respond to them with cruel and self-defeating policies, such as offshore processing and indefinite detention?”
The Statement takes its inspiration from the actions and words of Pope Francis on his 2013 visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa, where he met the survivors of a refugee tragedy and mourned for those who had died. It begins and ends with the Pope’s own words and is strongly based on the Scriptures and Catholic teaching.
Orders are now being taken for the Social Justice Statement. They will be delivered mid-September in time for Social Justice Sunday 27 September. All Statement orders include free posters.