Read the 2017 Social Justice Statement at –
The Australian Catholic Bishops have released their Social Justice Statement for 2016-2017 – Social Justice in an aging society. Go to https://www.catholic.org.au/acbc-media/media-centre/media-releases-new/1871-social-justice-sunday-statement-2016/file to download.
The pilgrims from the Rockhampton Diocese have maintained a blog during World Youth Day. You can visit it at https://rockywyd.wordpress.com/
The 2015–16 Social Justice Statement is titled For those who’ve come across the seas: justice for refugees and asylum seekers. Australia’s Bishops ask us to re-examine our responses to refugees and asylum seekers. They remind us of the nearly 60 million people around the world who are displaced from their homes and of the war and violence that are devastating countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. When people come to us seeking refuge, can we in conscience respond to them with cruel and self-defeating policies such as offshore processing and indefinite detention?
For further details about the Social Justice Statement, visit the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council website www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au or call (02) 8306 3499.
Re: Pastoral Letter from the Catholic Bishops of Australia to all Australians on the ·same-Sex Marriage’ Debate
As the debate about ‘same-sex marriage’ gains momentum nationally, the Australian Catholic Bishops believe it
is important to highlight the meaning of marriage.
Given the implications of redefining marriage, today we are issuing a pastoralletter <http://catholic.us7.1istmanage.com/track/click?u=Obfcbfe 7b23d4d0399421 d8b 1 &id=8a951 f4a0a&e=1 c250279e2> to the Catholic community.
You will be aware this week, in the context of the Irish referendum, both the Labor Party and the Greens have announced they will introduce draft legislation to allow two people of the same sex to marry.
Marriage is both a personal relationship between a man and a woman, and the protective institution for their children. Marriage includes an emotional union, but it goes further than that. It involves a comprehensive bodily and spiritual union of a man and a woman.
This union of a man and woman is the natural reproductive and protective environment for raising children.Marriage is the foundation of the family unit, which is in turn the first cell of society. If the union of a man and a woman is different- not the same – as other unions, then justice demands that we treat that union accordingly. If marriage is an institution designed to support people of the opposite sex to be faithful to each other and to the children of their union it is not discrimination to reserve it to them.
The Christian tradition teaches that every human being is a unique and irreplaceable person, created in the image of God and loved by Him. Because of this, every man, woman and child has great dignity and worth which can never be taken away. This includes those who experience same-sex attraction. They must be treated with respect, sensitivity and love.
Redefining marriage in the way now proposed would see marriage reduced to a committed, affectionate sexual relationship between any two people. All marriages would come to be defined by intensity of emotion rather than a union founded on sexual complementarity and potential fertility. Husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, will be seen to be wholly interchangeable social constructs, as gender would no longer matter.
Chair of the Bishops Commission for Family, Youth and Life, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP said, “It is unjust, gravely unjust, to legitimise the false assertion that there is nothing distinctive about a man and a woman, a father or a mother; to ignore the particular values that real marriage serves; to ignore the importance for children of having a mum and a dad, ommitted to them and to each other for the long haul.
Children have a right to grow up with their natural mother and father, where possible. We should not be redefining marriage so as deliberately to exclude a child growing up with either their mother, their father, or both their parents.
“If the civil law ceases to define marriage as traditionally understood, it will be a serious injustice and undermine that common good for which the civil law exists.
“Surely there are other ways of honouring the friendships of same-sex attracted and other people without further deconstructing marriage and the family,” Archbishop Fisher said.
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This year’s Social Justice Statement is titled:
‘A Crown for Australia: Striving for the best in our sporting nation’.
The Statement celebrates the place of sport in our national life, especially the way in which it brings individuals and communities together and contributes to our health and wellbeing. At the same time, the Statement challenges to look at sport’s darker side – the potential for violence, abuse and corruption that blemish its image and disillusion those who love it most.
To read the Statement, visit the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council website – www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au