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The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has told parliamentarians that they should place the needs of vulnerable people at the centre of the country’s culture and politics. Source: ACBC Media Blog.

The call was made in a submission to the Senate Community Affairs Committee’s inquiry on poverty, which the committee recently published.

“Recognising the fundamental needs of the whole human person directs us towards building a community that genuinely serves people in poverty”, wrote Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, chair of the Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service. 

“Solutions to poverty will require a combination of economic growth and growth in moral, spiritual and cultural aspects of human life.

“Australian public policy must be moulded towards the common good of all people. When we place human participation at the centre of our economy, people in poverty can be seen, not as a burden, nor even as Australia’s most bountiful untapped resource, but as the dignified and beloved children of God.”

The submission called for the placement of solidarity, a central tenet of Catholic Social Teaching, “especially for vulnerable people, at the centre of the life of our culture and politics”.

“The Catholic faith has always proclaimed the universal duty to prioritise the needs of those in poverty,” Bishop Long wrote, pointing out that economic pursuits should be placed “at the service of the common good and as a secondary priority to meeting the needs of the vulnerable”. 

“Wherever the economy moves out of balance at the expense of the vulnerable, there is a need to question how systems and structures within the society have failed to prioritise the needs of those experiencing poverty.”

The bishops’ submission can be downloaded at: 


Put the vulnerable first, bishops tell federal politicians (ACBC Media Blog)