Social Justice Trends_August 2021


Office for Social Justice (OSJ)

Dear Friend

In August we continue to highlight care for our common home and supporting peoples’ search for peace and safety.


New Name Reflects Key Focus

Our Bishops have already met their first action commitment from the Social Justice Statement 2021-22, Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor – the Office for Social Justice has become the Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace. As they explain in the Statement, this “better reflects contemporary Catholic Social Teaching, especially the teachings of Laudato Si’ and Fratelli Tutti on integral ecology and peace”. Sandie Cornish explains how this, and the two remaining action commitments, will shape the work of the Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace throughout a seven-year journey towards the Laudato Si’ goals. New prayer services to accompany the Statement are also available.

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Catholic Support for Afghans

The humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan requires urgent and immediate action from the Australian Government. The Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace has co-signed a letter to all federal Parliamentarians calling for seven direct actions to be implemented as soon as possible to support Afghans fleeing the violence as well as diaspora communities in Australia. These actions include “doing everything possible” in the coming days to evacuate people who are at grave risk, urging governments in the region to keep borders open, offering 20,000 additional refugee settlement places, and extend permanent protection to 4,300 Afghans on temporary protection visas.

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IPCC Report: The Earth is on “Red Alert”

A much-anticipated report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found that the Earth is on “Red Alert”. “Immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions” are needed to keep warming below 1.5 or 2 degrees. This increase alone would mean more and hotter heatwaves, greater rainfall and flooding as well as more intense droughts than are currently being experienced. The report says that humans are responsible for 1.1C of warming since 1850-1900 and we can influence the severity of climate change if we act now.

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Eight Years on, Bishops Renew Resettlements Calls

Bishops in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Australia have railed against mandatory offshore detention. Marking the eighth anniversary of the practice – described by the Australian Bishops as an “affront to human dignity and a breach of international law” – Bishops from Papua New Guinea and the Solomons wrote an open letter to the Australian Parliament calling for the resettlement of those still in mandatory detention. Bishop Vincent Long responded, “I have seen with my own eyes the effects of the policy … A humane solution is needed.”

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Call for Vaccine Equity and Delay to International Agreement

The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) has campaigned on two key issues which the ACBC Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace has supported: vaccine equity and the need to delay implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Vaccine equity could be reached if the World Trade Organisation enacts a waiver on companies’ 20-year patent monopoly on their vaccines. Fifteen civil society organisations urged the Federal Government to support the proposal, while another letter from AFTINET to Parliamentarians called for delaying implementation of the RCEP.

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Mission: One Heart, Many Voices Conference

Catholic Mission and Catholic Religious Australia invite you to attend their biannual conference, “Mission: One Heart, Many Voices”. The event will be held online from 1–3 September with an additional day of reflection and formation on 4 September. The conference focuses on “Leadership for Mission Now” and explores how we can lead, co-create and engage with people of good will to transform the world into the healed, joyful and peaceful world God calls us to create. Key speakers are Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM, Mr Hugh MacKay AO, Dr Ursula Stephens and Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle.

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Season of Creation

Season of Creation, held from 1 September–4 October is a worldwide ecumenical event which urges all Christians to contemplate and act to protect the gift of God’s creation. This year’s theme of “A Home for All? Renewing the Oikos of God” urges all to work together to do all we can for our common home in crisis. Resources are available for all to use for advocacy and events. One such event is being held in Brisbane by the Queensland Churches Environment Network on 1 September.

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Migrant and Refugee Sunday

The 107th Migrant and Refugee Sunday is being held on 26 September with the theme of “Towards and even wider ‘we’”. In his message, Pope Francis highlights the importance of humanity coming together in unity and of living up to the meaning of being Catholic through encountering the universality of the human family. Multimedia resources are available from the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, and the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office will release a parish kit in early September.

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Events approaching include:

ACU Modern Slavery Webinar – 26 August???
– Social Justice Sunday – 29 August
– National Biodiversity Month – 1 September
– World Suicide Prevention Day – 10 September
– International Day of Peace – 21 September
– World Day of the Poor – 14 November
– International Ignatian Ecospirituality Conference – 25-30 April 2022



If you have any feedback for the Office for Social Justice, Ecology and Peace please contact our Editor Sandie Cornish at



Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv (Chair), Bishop Paul Bird CSsR, Bishop Terence Brady, Bishop Karol Kulczycki SDS, Bishop Bosco Puthur, Bishop Christopher Saunders, Bishop Donald Sproxton.


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The Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace facilitates this newsletter in good faith. Its aim is to promote adult faith formation, awareness and action in relation to social, economic and ecological justice issues. Factual information is presumed free of error. If this is found to be incorrect please contact the OJEP for purposes of rectification. The reference to news items and the provision of links to other websites is solely for the user’s convenience. The OJEP assumes no responsibility for, nor does it necessarily endorse, these items or websites, their content, or their sponsoring organisations.


Social Justice Trends is a publication of the Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace and is distributed monthly. Our aim is to provide news of interest to you. If you have suggestions or feedback about Social Justice Trends please don’t hesitate to get back to me.


Sandie Cornish
Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace

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