Acknowledging the traditional custodians of Australia, the Bishops say they affirm their respect for the elders, memories, traditions, culture and hopes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
“The Catholic Church in Australia, as always, looks forward to working in partnership with the new government and with indigenous communities to improve the situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout the nation, the statement stated.
“Earlier this year we welcomed the high priority that the Federal Government placed on addressing disadvantage in remote Northern Territory Aboriginal communities.
“However, we also emphasised that there is much more to be done to address fundamental causes of entrenched disadvantage.”
The Bishops' statement addresses a number of areas for action which include: tackling child abuse, poverty, housing, substance abuse and employment.
“Any response must be designed and implemented to take into account the particular circumstances of different communities.
“We now urge the Federal Government to pursue the even more challenging task of addressing the underlying causes of disadvantage in our indigenous communities.
“In this way the healing process required at the heart of our nation can be furthered.”
A statement from the Catholic Bishops of Australia on a way forward for Indigenous Australia (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 30/1/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Bishops' Committee for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Aboriginal elder tells Catholics to challenge Indigenous injustices (CathNews, 15/09/06)
Bishops' social justice statement focuses on Indigenous disadvantage (CathNews, 14/9/06)
Brisbane Archdiocese welcomes Message Stick (15/6/06)
Pope calls for an apology to Indigenous Australians (CathNews 23/5/06)
Message Stick visits Taree, NSW (CathNews, 27/2/06)
Church in world focus for 'Social Justice' Statement (CathNews, 16/8/05)
Social Justice Statement launched (CathNews, 23/9/04)
Catholic call for proper ATSIC replacement (1/6/04)
Statement challenges racism with 'generous heart' (CathNews, 17/9/03)
3 Dec 2007