Parish offers to fly drug Scott Rush's parents to Bali

A Brisbane parish has offered to fly the parents of a convicted Australian drug mule on death row to Bali so they can be with their son.

Fr Tim Harris from the Corinda/Graceville Catholic parish says Scott Rush's parents should be with him now that the appeal has been lost on whether the Indonesian courts' death penalty is unconstitutional for drug offences.

He says the only other option for the six on death row is if Australia's Prime Minister appeals to Indonesia for clemency.

"We're all very worried about this because we know that the Indonesian President is not keen on granting clemency so I understand it," Fr Harris said.

"He hasn't done this before so it would be a big ask for him to spare the life of Scott and the others but certainly that's what we're praying for."

Rome conference energises Australian prison chaplains

An Australian delegate, who attended the Vatican's prison chaplains conference in September, has reported the event stressed the need for more humane treatment of the mentally ill and drug addicts who are in prison.

The conference, which was organised by the International Commission of Catholic Prison Pastoral Care, took place in Rome in the week of 5 September.

The theme was "Discovering Christ’s Face in Every Prisoner" Sister of Charity Mary Pauline Staunton, who attended on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, issued her report yesterday.

Sr Staunton has had a long and distinguished experience in prison chaplaincy. She was one of ten Australian delegates.

"The Australian Chaplains found that attendance at the Congress was a very informative and worthwhile experience. They made a valuable contribution to the success of the Congress," Sr Staunton said.

The Final Declaration from the Congress said those in prison have inherent dignity and fundamental rights which spring from their being “at the image” of the Divine Creator and acknowledged in many countries the basic human rights of prisoners are not guaranteed; their religious liberty is not respected and the Church is prevented from attending to the spiritual and material needs of the prisoners.

Church offers to fly drug smuggler's parents to Bali (ABC News 30/10/07)
Catholic prison chaplains’ congress calls for more humane treatment of prisoners around the world (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 1/11/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
International Commission for Catholic Prison Pastoral Care
Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Participants in the Twelfth World Congress of the International Commission of Catholic Pastoral Care (6/9/07)

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