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What choice for Aboriginal peoples? - ACBC
"What choice?" the Bishops Commission for Relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders has asked Prime Minister Tony Abbott after his comment that Aboriginal peoples are living in remote communities as a "lifestyle choice”.  

Bishop protests against trans pacific partnership
Bishop Charles Drennan of Palmerston North (NZ) led some 500 protesters in the city joining others in 22 towns and cities on a weekend of protests against the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  

In Indonesia divided opinions on the death penalty
As executions loom, President Widodo may have little to gain, a lot to lose, by showing mercy for drug convicts including two Australians – on the streets of Jakarta, opinion on the death penalty is sharply divided.  

Staying the executioners’ guns
Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's inauguration as Indonesia's new president last October has done nothing to stem this tide (of executions). Jokowi has turned his back on expectations that he would pay heed to the human rights concerns of activist groups who were a vocal part of his support base. Instead, within his first 100 days of office he has already presided over six executions.  

Aborigines and land
Aboriginal Peoples all know that this land belongs to them. The land was never ceded nor has any government ever attempted to seek a settlement or treaty with its owners.
It is time to talk Treaties!
Read more  
See also
New Zealand’s Treaty of Waitangi

They came for the Abbott spill and missed the only real story in town
On the anniversary of former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s apology for the stolen generations (February 13), Amy McQuire writes for New Matilda of how the media missed the news ... "a strong delegation of grandmothers who had descended on the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra to protest the skyrocketing rates of child removal that have risen every year since Kevin Rudd said 'Sorry'."  

In Cambodia a fast from pollution for Lent
Pollution weakens our bodies and makes us vulnerable to many diseases such as diarrhoea, chest infections, cancers, respiratory and heart diseases. And the people most likely to be affected first are the poor, due to their already limited access to clean water, clean food and clean air. The poor suffer first.  

Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger
The first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Under this MDG, countries committed to halving poverty between 1990 and 2015. By various measures of poverty, Indonesia has already successfully achieved this goal. Nonetheless, significant challenges remain, including high vulnerability, regional disparities, non-monetary poverty and rapidly rising inequality.  

Myanmar defends rally crackdown amid more arrests
Myanmar authorities defended a crackdown on a Yangon rally, which saw police and men in civilian clothes beat unarmed protesters, as security forces made fresh arrests on Friday.  

Rebuilding Myanmar – a blueprint for eradicating poverty
Getting the entire package of reforms right will allow the Myanmar economy to seize the ample opportunities presented by trade and investment liberalisation. Only by accessing these benefits will Myanmar build lasting peace and prosperity for all of its people.  

Cambodia deports one of its own for helping asylum seekers
A Cambodian national who was arrested last week while helping 36 Montagnard asylum seekers reach Phnom Penh was himself deported alongside the group to Vietnam, where he was detained and interrogated for more than five days, he said March 4.  

From Gaza to Europe: a harrowing boat trip for a boy
Palestinian 17-year-old Yusuf is one of more than 8,000 migrants to have made the treacherous crossing to Italy in boats run by ruthless traffickers since the start of this year alone, writes Lizzie Dearden for the Independent.  

The migration of millions
Millions of people are on the move. Often their rights claims are seen as conflicting with those of host communities and as threatening national sovereignty. This article by Sandie Cornish in Asian Horizons presents a brief overview of the response of Papal Catholic Social Teaching on migration in the post Vatican II period, and Catholic Social Teaching on migration by the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences.  

Bringing hope to a fledgling nation
Casa de Produção Audiovisual (CPA) was established in 2002 by Ruedi Hoffmann SJ, the year Timor Leste became an independent nation. Fr Ruedi understood that the best way to give hope to this young nation was to build their identity through stories from their roots. Every week for the past decade, CPA has sent a program to the National TV station TVTL, to be telecast.  

Accept the marginalized and outcasts – Pope
"This is the 'logic', the mind of Jesus, and this is the way of the Church."
For Jesus, what matters above all is reaching out to save those far off, healing the wounds of the sick, restoring everyone to God's family! And this is scandalous to some people! Pope Francis told new cardinals on February 15.  

Joe Hockey’s crystal ball
Trying to anticipate how Australia will change over the next four decades may be an entertaining guessing game, but to think that present policy can be meaningfully shaped by such crystal ball gazing is a bizarre conceit, writes David James for Eureka Street.  

Time for a conversation about Australia’s future?
The report needs to be a story of opportunity and advancement, one that heralds the kind of country this generation can bequeath to the next, writes Sam Hurley in The Age.  

Islamic State prompts Dolan comment on IRA
These are not 'pure', these are not real Muslims.
New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan has said Islamic State militants in the Middle East are a distortion of "genuine" Islam in the way the Irish Republican Army was a "perversion" of Catholicism.  

A smarter, more humane approach to crime that saves lives and builds safer communities.
Australia’s First Peoples are dramatically over-represented in prison statistics. ANTaR is campaigning to change this unacceptable situation and to end Aboriginal deaths in custody. Join us!  

Getting to know Catholic Social Teaching
For many years people have said that Catholic Social Teaching is our best kept secret, but I don’t think this is true anymore, writes Sandie Cornish.  

Social Justice & the Churches: Challenges & Responsibilities
Edited by John D'Arcy May
Professor Frank Brennan, Fr Max Vodola, Revd Gerald Rose, Revd Geoff Pound, Revd Raymond Cleary, Dr Mark Zirnsak, Major Jenny Begent, Fr Shenouda Boutros, and Margaret Coffey examine the social traditions of seven churches for today.
This book is available through Social Policy Connections for $25+$5 postage.
To order  

ERC Asylum Seekers and Refugees
An education resource with activities for students, focusing on real people and their stories.
The resource is available to download at no cost. For information call 02 8762 4200 or go to

End gender-based violence
With an estimated up to two million people, mostly women and children, trafficked annually for prostitution, forced labour, slavery or servitude, the United Nations’ UNiTE campaign focusing on ending violence against women and children has called for a focus on this issue on the 25th of every month.  

Let the Son Shine
An Australian Catholic response to climate change

The words 'climate change' are on many people’s lips. Scientific evidence has convinced many that humans are largely responsible for this change and must act urgently to address it. Others have been shocked out of complacency and into reflection by fickle weather conditions, ranging from recent hurricanes in New Orleans to a ten-year drought throughout Australia. So says Columban Fr Charles Rue in a new release, Let the Son Shine  

The Call to Justice in Scripture
How do you experience the Scriptures calling you to live justly? This PowerPoint can be used for personal reflection or as stimulus material for group discussion. Reflecting on The Call to Justice in Scripture  



Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Major International Catholic Social Teaching Documents

Key Principles

Human Dignity
Each person, made in the image and likeness of God, has an inalienable and transcendent human dignity which gives rise to human rights.

The Common Good
We are called to work for conditions which ensure that every person and group in society is able to meet their needs and realize their potential.

The people or groups most directly affected by a decision or policy should have a key decision making role.

We can only grow and achieve our potential in relationship with others. Solidarity encourages us to commit ourselves to the common good.