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Fatal cost of shutting borders
Two significant news items about asylum seekers came in the past week. Hamid Kehazaei died in Brisbane from an infection acquired on Manus Island detention centre, and the Red Cross had to lay off 500 workers after losing its contract to provide support to asylum seekers living in the community. Andrew Hamilton SJ writes for Eureka Street.

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Zamboanga siege: rebuilding communities
A year after a battle in the southern Philippines city of Zamboanga left 140 dead and more than 120,000 people displaced, 50,000 of those are still without homes. The fighting lasted three weeks and completely destroyed more than 10,000 homes.

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Yazidi plight continues while world looks on
The international spotlight has moved away from the plight of the Yazidis – many of whom remain stranded in Iraqi Kurdistan with little or no aid.

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Who are the Yazidi?
It was the harrowing story of the Yazidi retreat up Mt Sinjar that helped galvanise world opinion for the new intervention in Iraq which Australia has joined. But who are the Yazidi people?

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The other face of globalisation
One of the most visible effects of globalisation is labor migrating across international borders in search of satisfactory employment. Unlike tourists, who also travel globally, migrant workers are not rich and carefree. They huddle self-consciously in airports or stow away on ships and freight containers, poor, ill-clad and desperate. Myron Pereira SJ writes for Ucan News that colonialism sparked this global phenomenon.

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A church for the poor
Pope Francis grabbed headlines recently when he announced that Rome had lifted the block on sainthood for Archbishop Óscar Romero of San Salvador who was shot dead while saying Mass in 1980. But much less attention was given to another of the pope's actions, one that underscores a significant shift inside the Vatican.

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See also A new sort of religious radical 

Outrage over dirty political tricks good
The public discomfort around the current dirty politics revelations is a good sign for our political community, says Archbishop John Dew of Wellington New Zealand. He was speaking in the wake of disclosures in a recently published book, Dirty Politics, which are based on information contained in hacked emails.

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Inequality matters
Inequality matters. Inequality is dangerous. And inequality is at a near all-time high. At its core, the Government’s recent budget not only engenders but actively exults in the creation and maintenance of inequality, a phenomenon rapidly expanding not just in Australia, but around the world, writes Harry Maher for Eureka Street.

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Asia’s basic freedoms fall short
There is a general lacuna in legal and institutional protection for freedom of assembly and expression in many Asian countries with most emphasising restrictions rather than the promotion of freedoms, writes Renato Mabunga from Manila.

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Global disasters increasing
Weather, climate and water-related disasters are on the rise worldwide, causing loss of life and setting back economic and social development by years, if not decades. From 1970 to 2012, 8 835 disasters, 1.94 million deaths, and US$2.4 trillion of economic losses were reported globally as a result of hazards such as droughts, extreme temperatures, floods, tropical cyclones and related health epidemics, according to a new report.

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Francis more powerful peace broker
Former Israeli President Shimon Peres says Pope Francis is more powerful than the United Nations when it comes to advocating peace.

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Cultivating a culture of peace
The United Nations has designated 21 September the International Day of Peace. In this CatholicCare reflection, Sandie Cornish looks at ways in which we can cultivate a culture of peace.

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Last chance for Planet Earth?
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to Climate Summit 2014 on 23 September seeking to galvanise and catalyse climate action.

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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. 

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.