Human rights, climate change and environmental protection have topped the agenda as Australian bishops joined more than 70 bishops from across Oceania for meetings in Port Moresby from April 11-18. Source: The Catholic Leader.
In a keynote address to the Federation of the Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania (FCBCO), held every four years, Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin challenged the Church to identify and promote true alternatives to harmful ways of life that prevailed in society.
Cardinal Parolin shared his reflection on Laudato Si’, the second encyclical of Pope Francis, and called on bishops to fight the ideology of individualism that harmed people and the environment.
“Individualism of course has very deep roots coming from the times of the enlightenment and which encouraged a separation from each other,” he said.
“A separation from community brings us towards other means of individual and independent living.”
The Assembly of FCBCO is a meeting of four bishops’ conferences of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
Under the theme, "Care of our Common Home of Oceania: A sea of possibilities", the FCBCO studied the environmental and social challenges they were facing and tried to find concrete solutions to the needs across the Pacific region.
Concerns included the care of the ocean ecosystem, the protection of human rights and the environment, threatened by an economy of intense exploitation of this vast geographical area.
An assembly work session discussed the plight of more than 600 asylum seekers stranded on PNG’s Manus Island. An Australian detention centre was set up on the island after a controversial political agreement between PNG and Australia.
Thousands of asylum seekers from all over the world were brought to the detention centre, and although the centre was closed last October, hundreds of would-be refugees remain, living in a legal limbo.
They were moved to “transitional structures” on the island following a ruling by PNG’s Supreme Court.
During the conference, environmental scientist Professor Chalapan Kaluwin, from the University of PNG, delivered a presentation on the science of deep seabed mining and outlined the known risks associated with this experimental form of resource extraction.
Oceania Bishops called to keep battling hate, ideology during Port Moresby meeting (The Catholic Leader)