Church calls for a fairer deal for the poor and vulnerable

The Politics in Service of Peace document (ACBC)

A contrite Church has acknowledged the abuse scourge but called for the political classes to focus on the poor and vulnerable during the election campaign. Source: The Australian.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s statement on the 2019 election has urged more foreign aid and assistance for indigenous Australians.

ACBC president Mark Coleridge has called for all asylum-seeker claims involving those who arrive in Australia to be processed onshore “as speedily as possible”.

Archbishop Coleridge has also asked for all remaining refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to be resettled and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be given a fairer deal.

He wants a “renewed urgency” to the commitment of closing the gap between indigenous Australians and the rest of the community. “This is a running sore at the heart of the nation,” Archbishop Coleridge has said.

“Through our agencies, the Church plays a critical role in working with indigenous peoples in health, education and welfare.

“But Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue to suffer grave disadvantage and should not have to keep waiting for justice. Now is the time to act.”

Archbishop Coleridge’s comments come at an acutely difficult time for the Church as it battles the incarceration of its most senior figure, Cardinal George Pell.

Pell, 77, has been convicted of multiple charges of sexual abuse involving two choirboys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996 and 1997. He is appealing the convictions.

“As bishops, we offer this statement as a way of sharing key points of Catholic teaching that you may want to reflect upon as we prepare for the election,” Archbishop Coleridge writes.

“The ongoing revelations of child sexual abuse have undermined the credibility of bishops.

“We have no monopoly on truth, but we offer these reflections in a spirit of solidarity, as people who also have to consider our vote carefully, who can draw upon a deep wisdom concerning the common good and who are called to care for the most vulnerable in our community.”

FULL STORY

Bishops turn poll spotlight on to the plight of indigenous (The Australian

Politics in Service of Peace (ACBC)

RELATED COVERAGE

Bishops call for politics that promote peace, common good (ACBC)

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