The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council’s (ACSJC) Briefing for September is now up on the website. The Briefing covers issues of Catholic social teaching in September 2017, highlighting resources, media items and diary events. It can be read here.
From the Secretariat, John Ferguson:
Social Justice Sunday is celebrated on 24 September. The title of this year’s Social Justice Statement is ‘Everyone’s Business: Developing an inclusive and sustainable economy’.
Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, Chairman of the ACSJC, reflects on the many factors inspiring the Bishops’ call for a new approach in our nation’s policy that ensures an economy that serves all people, now and for future generation.
‘This Statement is inspired by the teachings of Jesus and by the unswerving vision of Pope Francis: that the most vulnerable and excluded are the ones who need to take first place in our hearts and in our actions as individuals and as a society. … our Pope draws on Christ’s message of love and ministry to the poor. He also draws on the wisdom of his predecessors, Popes Benedict and John Paul II, and on a tradition that stretches back to Pope Leo XIII in the 19th century.
‘Another source of inspiration was the major research project that culminated 25 years ago in the 1992 Statement by Australia’s Catholic Bishops, Common Wealth for the Common Good. In that Statement the Bishops warned of growing household poverty and employment insecurity. Most importantly, they stressed that the economy is something that exists not for its own sake but for the benefit of an entire society.
‘Over the two and a half decades since Common Wealth for the Common Good, Australia has been blessed by a period of uninterrupted growth. We are a far richer nation than we were 25 years ago. Yet there are still too many among us for whom this wealth remains a dream. Hundreds of thousands of people find themselves in poverty even though they have a job. Meanwhile, for those who depend on welfare payments, life has been made far harder.
‘Our Indigenous sisters and brothers continue to be over-represented in key areas of disadvantage, including life expectancy, illness and imprisonment.
‘For many Australians, the spectre of homelessness is becoming too real. In major cities and towns the prospect of buying or even renting a home is moving out of reach, even for those with decent jobs. Emerging groups such as older Australians, particularly women, are at risk of becoming homeless,’ Bishop Long says.