The Australian Bishops have endorsed the "Bring Them Here" campaign to return offshore detainees to Australia from Manus Island and Nauru, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said in a statement yesterday.
The President of the ACBC, Archbishop Denis Hart, said: "The Australian Catholic Bishops deplore the detention of our brothers and sisters on Nauru and Manus Island. While recognising the effort of the Government to find a solution, we say that enough is enough. We call on the Government to bring offshore detainees to Australia while awaiting further decisions on their future.
"We pledge the help of our Catholic communities and institutions to welcome and support these refugees when they arrive, including Catholic health, education and social services."
Archbishop Hart said Australian Bishops are working with the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) advisory group, which brings together Catholic peak bodies across education, health, welfare, and the broader Church along with key national Catholic organisations.
In a statement yesterday, CAPSA said it has offered to lead a coordinated approach of Catholic community organisations to provide support to men, women and children seeking asylum if the Australian Government shows leadership.
The Chair of CAPSA, Julie Edwards, said she welcomed Archbishop Hart’s leadership in publicly calling for the people in detention on Nauru and Manus Island to be brought to Australia.
“CAPSA believes that offshore detention centres in Manus Island and Nauru are cruel and inhumane. We join the calls of millions of Australians that these centres should be immediately closed down and the men, women and children currently in limbo be brought to Australia where their claims for asylum must be processed in a timely manner."
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