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Hiding in the shadow of the pastor in Gaza
The death toll in Gaza is now well over 730 with more than 4,500 injured in Israeli assault after 17 days.

Two Israeli civilians have been killed by fire from Gaza since the offensive began.

The total number of Israeli soldiers killed since the start of the military assault stands at 32. One more soldier has been listed as missing and is believed to be dead. Meanwhile, Gaza's Greek Orthodox Archbishop Alexios, has not had much sleep in the past few days. He has been busy ensuring that scores of Palestinian families that sought refuge in his church, the Church of Saint Prophyrius, are getting all the help they need. 

Promoting reconciliation in the troubled Middle East
The focus of the Light of Torah ministry is biblical reflection rather than political comment, but it is impossible for anyone interested in the Jewish-Christian relationship not to be deeply concerned by the troubles in the Middle East, especially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ) appeals to religious groups and personnel to appreciate the complexity of the discussion … [and] emphasises the importance of defining terms and of avoiding single-narrative rhetoric/practices which promote fear and insecurity in the ‘other.’ For instance the ICCJ paper outlines the diverse understandings (and misunderstandings) associated with use of the terms ‘Israel,’ ‘Holy Land,’ ‘Zionism,’ and ‘prophecy’ (see pp.8-12).

The paper also urges against “a binary way of thinking that insists that people must be either 'pro-Palestinian'or 'pro-Israel'. We espouse a 'pro-people' vision that is both pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian, precisely because dialogue demands that multiple narratives be heard.” 

Germany touted as a possible ceasefire broker
Palestinian editor, Ramzy Baroud, says a top German official is in Ramallah and Israel hoping to start mediating a lasting ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Listen to Ramzy here 

No room for diplomacy in Gaza
With or without a ceasefire, the brutality of the last week will be revisited upon the Palestinians of Gaza – a fact that, unsurprisingly, leaves no room for diplomacy. 

Gaza’s Christians helping each other stay safe
Members of the tiny Christian community in the Gaza Strip have been keeping tabs on each other and lending a helping hand during Israeli airstrikes, but nowhere in the territory is really safe, said a priest at the territory's only Catholic parish. 

See also 

Abbott supports Greste and wholesale slaughter in Egypt
The Prime Minister's support for jailed journalist Peter Greste is understandable. His support for a regime that continues to commit massacres is not, writes Michael Brull in New Matilda. 

Setting up disadvantaged youth for failure
The Abbott Government's welfare restrictions on people under 30 will impact most on those already struggling, writes Peter Job.

The federal government is engaged in a multipronged attack on the most vulnerable and powerless of our citizens, disadvantaged young people. 

Canberra's archbishop backs cleaners in wage battle
Canberra-Goulburn Archbishop Christopher Prowse has called on the Federal government to protect the wage rates of cleaners, describing them as the ‘new Aussie battlers’, The Canberra Times reports. 

Fifteen years after war, Timor-Leste faces a new fight
Prominent doctor warns that tuberculosis and HIV could soon 'bring the country down'. 

Ignatian network promotes ethical consumption and investment
Australians need to educate themselves about the full cost of technology and resources – particularly in relation to disadvantaged communities, says Jesuit Social Services CEO Julie Edwards. 

Relocating a stricken Filipino community
In a remote northern part of Palawan, Philippines, many small communities of fishers and other subsistence workers are being relocated after typhoon Yolanda wiped out their homes and livelihoods in last November. Sylvia Miclat writes on a project being undertaken by a Jesuit research organisation in the Philippines, Environmental Science for Social Change (ESSC). 

Being just neighbours
Good Samaritan Sister, Pam Grey, asks in The Good Oil, What does ‘asylum’ mean, if not something of friendship? What is friendship, if not sanctuary for the soul? 

World migrant and refugee day
In 2014 we celebrate the 100th World Migrant and Refugee Day. The Australian Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office has prepared a kit to help communities and individuals to celebrate. 

Sanctioned violence and relationships
Sister Clare Condon, Congregational Leader of the Good Samaritan Sisters, asks what sanctioned violence is doing to families and relationships in a talk next month in Sydney.

Clare’s address is part of ‘RightsTalk’, a series of public discussions on topical human rights issues hosted by the Australian Human Rights Commission. 

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.  

Were you there...
By Sandie Cornish
This recording was made at the Pitt Street Uniting Church in Sydney during an ecumenical service praying for refugees and asylum seekers.  

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.