Social Justice Sunday is 27 August and the new Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Social Justice Statement, “Listen, Learn, Love: A New Engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples” was launched on Thursday 17 August.
The new Social Justice Statement is issued in an important year for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and, indeed, for all Australians. It’s the year when we vote on a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians through enshrining a Voice to Parliament in the Constitution.
Both the Bishops and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) speak to us in this year’s statement. They see the referendum as an opportunity for the Church to begin a new engagement with the First Peoples of our land.
The Bishops and NATSICC see this year as an opportunity for the Church to lead the way for all Australians. Instead of telling the First Peoples what should happen, they say we need to listen to them and learn from them what is the best way to overcome their significant disadvantage. Instead of arrogance, the Church can lead the way to a better future for the First Peoples and for all Australians by engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in a spirit of humility and love.
Director of Identity