The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council’s (ACSJC) Briefing for December is now up on the website. The Briefing covers issues of Catholic social teaching in December 2017, highlighting resources, media items and diary events. It can be read here.
From the Secretariat, John Ferguson:
This is the last Monthly Briefing from the ACSJC before Christmas. Soon – if we haven’t started already – we will all be planning our Christmas festivities and hoping to catch up with friends and family.
For Christians, this is the time to remember the birth of Our Lord and the beginning of his mission on earth. In the brief details about the birth of Jesus given in the Gospel accounts there is an enormous amount to reflect and pray about. Jesus is born in the humblest of circumstances; his birth is announced not to princes but to shepherds; and almost from his first moments on earth his life is in danger and his parents are forced to flee to Egypt.
So while Christmas reminds us of the glory and transcendence of Christ’s Incarnation, it also reminds us of his mission to those who are most in need.
The last few weeks have been a terrible rebuke to our national ideals of a fair go for the underdog. We have seen a calculated and cynical waiting game played by our government, using the asylum seekers on Manus Island as pawns. These men have been detained for four years with no way of leaving except to return to the mortal danger they fled in the first place. The Australian government has watched its structures on Manus evaporate: the company that administered the camp declined to renew its contract; the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Supreme Court ruled the detention of asylum seekers illegal; and it became clear that the PNG government wanted the camp off the naval base where it has been till now. Yet the Australian government did nothing as the humanitarian crisis approached.