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Living Laudato Si' e-Bulletin

The Living Laudato Si' Steering Group Committee
of the Archdiocese of Brisbane


Monday, 25 May 2020

Living Laudato Si'

Laudato Si’ Week ended yesterday. One of the key themes of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment is integral ecology. It recognises that everything is connected – the social injustice faced by so many people around the world is integrally linked to the environmental crises we face. These problems need to be addressed together. In that spirit, the information which we usually share in the 2 separate e-bulletins, JusticE-mail and Living Laudato Si’ will be shared in this one bulletin for the month of May. Here’s a pertinent passage from Laudato Si’ to remind us about the Pope’s message:

The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share. Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded.

I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. The worldwide ecological movement has already made considerable progress and led to the establishment of numerous organizations committed to raising awareness of these challenges. Regrettably, many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective, not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more general lack of interest. Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions. We require a new and universal solidarity. As the bishops of Southern Africa have stated: “Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation”. All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.

Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 13 – 14.

Laudato Si' Anniversary Year

The Vatican has announced that a special Laudato Si’ anniversary year will begin from now and continue until Laudato Si’ Week in May 2021. It has issued a program of activities and a 10 year plan of action which will invite Catholics to travel on the journey towards ecological conversion. Details of the plan are available at:
http://www.humandevelopment.va/en/news/laudato-si-special-anniversary-year-plan.html
 
The Archdiocese of Brisbane plans to launch the Anniversary Year in Oceania in collaboration with the Global Catholic Climate Movement with an on-line event on World Environment Day, Friday 5 June, at 4:30 PM. Archbishop Peter Loy Chong, Archbishop of Suva and President of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania, will participate in this event. More details will follow, but it is important to register for the event so that we can send you the Zoom link for participation on the day. Please RSVP to cjpc@bne.catholic.net.au.
 

National Sorry Day

Tuesday 26 May is National Sorry Day, a day when First Nations peoples remember the many children an, families and communities deeply affected by the forcible removal of children from their families. Link-Up Queensland seeks to re-unite members of the Stolen Generations with their families and communities if possible. Link-Up Queensland will livestream a short on-line ceremony on the day on their Facebook page. Speakers will include Mr Mick Gooda, Ms Terri Butler MP and Ms Jacki Trad MP:
https://www.facebook.com/events/164412744901632/
 

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week runs from May 27, the anniversary of the 1967 referendum, to June 3, the anniversary of the High Court’s Mabo decision. This year’s theme is In This Together. There are many on-line opportunities for you to celebrate National Reconciliation Week. Find out more at:
https://www.reconciliation.org.au/national-reconciliation-week/
 

Refugee Week

Refugee Week 2020 is from 15 June to 21 June. The theme for this year is Celebrating the Year of Welcome. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, Refugee Week is going on-line. There are plenty of suggestions for you to celebrate this week on the dedicated web site:
www.refugeeweek.org.au
 

Nobody Left Behind

The Refugee Council of Australia has run a campaign since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that vulnerable people seeking asylum and refugees are not left behind in the actions taken to respond to the crisis. You can find information and suggestions for action at: https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/nobody-left-behind/
 

Luminous Lantern Parade

The annual Luminous Lantern Parade to celebrate welcome to all migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum has been postponed. It was scheduled for Friday 5 June, but it will now take place at Southbank Parklands, South Brisbane, from 5:00 PM on Friday 23 October. The Archdiocese will again have a contingent with a lantern and you are all encouraged to join us to be part of a warm welcome. Stay tuned for more details.
 

West Papua

The Commission continues to work with a range of church and community groups inside West Papua and Members of Parliament in Australia to promote strong advocacy by the Australian Government for the human rights of the people of West Papua.
The last year has seen a continuation of the systematic abuse of the human rights of Papuans by members of Indonesia’s security forces. This includes violence and extra-judicial killings, but also the arrest and jailing of Papuans who are peacefully demonstrating in support of their desires.
You can see updates on many of the human rights violations in West Papua on the web site of the International Coalition for Papua:
www.humanrightspapua.org/
 
A collaboration between academics in Wollongong, Brisbane and Oxford is also seeking to map the many sites of massacres and killings of Papuans by Indonesian security forces since the Indonesian Government occupied West Papua in 1963:
https://theconversation.com/fight-for-freedom-new-research-to-map-violence-in-the-forgotten-conflict-in-west-papua-128058
 
The Commission is in contact with a number of Catholic pastors and lay people in Papua. One parish in the Highlands has asked for financial help to enable the community to connect to the internet. They also want to breed pigs to make money which can be used to pay for education, health and other community projects. West Papua is the poorest region in the Indonesian archipelago. If you would like to donate money to this cause, please e-mail our Executive Officer, Peter Arndt at arndtp@bne.catholic.net.au.
 

Social Justice Sunday

Please remember that Social Justice Sunday is now held on the last Sunday in August. This year, it will be celebrated on 30 August. The theme of the Australian Bishops’ Social Justice Statement will be mental health. It will be launched in early August. A number of resources are being prepared to help you to understand key issues better and to take action.
 
We are still not certain what restrictions will be in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Brisbane launch of the Statement is scheduled for Wednesday 19 August at 7:30 PM at St James’ Parish, 92 Kirkland Avenue, Coorparoo. We will update you closer to the event.
 

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