Church, Vinnies welcome High Court decision

The Church said it can assist the government in the matter of asylum seekers, and welcomed the High Court's permanent injunction against the deportation of two asylum seekers to Malaysia, the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office said in a statement.

"The Catholic Church's views about the treatment of asylum seekers are well known," Bishop Gerard Hanna, the Bishops' Representative for Migrants and Refugees, said today upon hearing the High Court's decision.

"Our views were outlined in the Church's recent submission to the Joint Select Committee's Inquiry into Australia's Immigration Detention Network.

"The Government knows our views and it also knows of the work that the Church does to assist asylum seekers both in detention and after their release.

"But now is not a time for celebration or recrimination. Rather, now is the time for all people of good will to work together to find a better way of dealing with asylum seekers. The Catholic Church stands ready to work with the Minister, the Department and all other people of good will to find a better way.

"It is to be hoped that this High Court decision does not lead to crass politics in Australia but rather to a determination to find reasonable and just outcomes for those seeking asylum," said Bishop Hanna.

The Church is encouraging Australia to continue to receive the additional 4000 refugees - as hammered out in the original deal - over the next four years.

In a separate statement, the St Vincent de Paul Society National Council Chief Executive, Dr John Falzon said: "Right across Australia, the grassroots members of the St Vincent de Paul Society will be warmly welcoming the High Court decision.

"We continue to say to the Australian Government: No to offshore processing; No to mandatory detention. This decision offers the nation a wonderful opportunity to re-think our stance on asylum seekers and re-visit our international obligations.

"This is a victory for human rights. We now need to turn this into a new direction for the Government; a direction based on dignity and respect for asylum seekers rather than demonisation and repression."


Vinnies welcomes victory for human rights (Media Release)

Catholic Church Calls for Serious Discussion to Find a Better Way of Dealing with Asylum Seekers (Media Release)


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