Catholic Religious Australia says it remains committed to the “journey of reconciliation” with First Nations Australians following the unsuccessful attempt to enshrine an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the Constitution.
In a statement released yesterday, CRA said that while it “acknowledges the democratic process we have undertaken in the recent referendum on Constitutional Recognition and the establishment of a Voice to Parliament, we also acknowledge the disappointment and sadness of those who were hoping for a positive result, particularly our indigenous sisters and brothers”.
“It is a regret shared by many Catholic religious around the country, at this time,” the statement said.
CRA president Fr Peter Jones OSA said that “despite the unsuccessful outcome of the referendum, our commitment to the journey of reconciliation remains steadfast”.
“CRA firmly believes that the voices and histories of First Nations people must be heard and respected to achieve the Catholic Social Teaching principle of subsidiarity which argues that all people have a right to participate in decisions made about their lives and that decisions should be made by those closest to, and most affected by, the outcome.”
CRA national executive director Anne Walker said that the “journey toward reconciliation is not defined by Saturday’s decision”
“It is an ongoing process of care, recognition and action,” Ms Walker said. “Many of CRA’s Members have lived and worked alongside First Nations people for years, sometimes decades, and they will continue to walk alongside First Nations People into the future,” she concluded.
Catholic Religious pledge unwavering commitment to the path of reconciliation and unity (Catholic Religious Australia)