The Bishop of Darwin, Eugene Hurley, has written to both federal political leaders saying his immigrant father would have been embarrassed and saddened by both parties' policies on mandatory detention of asylum seekers, reports the NT News.
Bishop Hurley emailed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition leader Tony Abbott on August 16, after returning from a detention centre where he celebrated mass for Vietnamese families, including children and pregnant women.
Below is Bishop Hurley’s etter:
"Dear Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott, I have just returned to my office from the Wickham Point and the Blaydin detention centres here in Darwin.
"Sadly, I have been involved with detention centres since the creation of the Woomera centre, followed by Baxter and now, over the last six years, with the various and expanding centres here in Darwin.
"I experienced once again today, the suffocating frustration of the unnecessary pain we inflict on one another. I celebrated Holy Mass with a large number of Vietnamese families, made up of men, women, children and women waiting to give birth. The celebration was prayerful and wonderful, until the moment of parting.
"I was reminded of something a young man said to me during one of my visits to Woomera, all those years ago. I was saying something about freedom. He replied, "Father, if freedom is all you have known, then you have never known freedom.'' I sensed the horrible truth of that statement again today."
FULL STORY Bishop's plea on asylum seekers (NT News)