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Pope Francis with the Australian delegation that included Fr Frank Brennan, Chiara Porro and Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann (Facebook/Fr Frank Brennan)

Pope Francis has received a book advocating for a Voice to Parliament from long-time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advocate Fr Frank Brennan SJ. Source: The Australian.

Fr Brennan dedicated the book to the Pope “hoping and praying for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament” when he met Francis at The Vatican earlier this week.

The dedication also thanks Francis for his declaration in Laudato Si’, in which the Pope said:

“It is essential to show special care for indigenous communities and their cultural traditions. They are not merely one minority among others, but should be the principal dialogue partners.”

Fr Brennan was accompanying respected aboriginal elder and artist Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann, 73, from Daly River, who was thrilled to speak with the Pope about the connections of God and nature.

Dr Ungunmerr Baumann has been in Rome for a series of events with the Australian Embassy to the Holy See marking National Reconciliation week, the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and the Holy See and the 50th anniversary of the first Aboriginal Liturgy.

Dr Ungunmerr Baumann had earlier called for more information about the Voice to Parliament to be provided to remote indigenous communities noting that she was still “trying to get my head around it”.

Fr Brennan, a law professor, has advocated changing the wording of the Voice from “executive government” to “ministers of state” so that support for the upcoming referendum could be broadened. 


Pope receives voice to parliament message (By Jacquelin Magnay, The Australian)


Indigenous voice stops in for word with the Pope (The Australian)

‘Not enough information’: Elder sounds warning on Voice ahead of Pope meeting (Sydney Morning Herald)