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Catholic Bishops launch major statement on families


2012–2013 Social Justice Statement News Story
Mass for Celebrating the Early Years of Marriage, St Patrick's Cathedral Sunday 22 April 2012. Photography: Jack Crombie

The Australian Catholic Bishops’ 2012–2013 Social Justice Statement urges all Australians to consider the pressures and challenges that families face today – especially those families who are most vulnerable or in crisis.

Titled The Gift of Family in Difficult Times: The social and economic challenges facing families today, the Statement was launched on Friday 21 September in Sydney by Dr John Falzon, Chief Executive Officer of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia.

The respondent at the launch was Dr Lisa Bridle, practitioner and disability advocate.

Bishop Christopher Saunders, Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, said Australia’s families confront new pressures in the 21st century.

"Our workplaces are changing: more and more workers are employed on a casual basis, many of them forced to find two or more jobs just to make ends meet," Bishop Saunders said.

"There are growing demands to work late hours or on weekends, or to be away from home for weeks on end. These stresses can make it ever harder for Australians to be with their families, to nurture love, to strengthen bonds, to learn and to teach.

"Some families are particularly vulnerable and require our special generosity – many Indigenous families, asylum seekers and refugees, those in poverty, the homeless and those with special needs with regard to disability."

In the Statement, the Catholic Bishops call for a renewed commitment by governments to ensure that all public policy is evaluated in terms of the effect it will have on families and children. Family impact statements should be made public and adopt a preventative approach – addressing the causes and not just the symptoms of disadvantage.

The Statement highlights our task as a nation to have the humility to listen and respond to the most vulnerable, for they show us what needs to change in our society.

Download Australian Catholic Bishops’ 2012-2013 Social Justice Statement Download Australian Catholic Bishops’ 2012-2013 Social Justice Statement

Social Justice Sunday

Social Justice Sunday 2012 will be celebrated on 30 September.

Resources, including Liturgy Notes and a PowerPoint Presentation, can be downloaded from the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council site.

Visit the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council site


Catholic Outlook: Bishop of Parramatta’s September 2012 Letter

Catholic Diocese of Parramatta Social Justice Office

CathNews: Role of families essential, says bishops statement

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