Who Is My Neighbour? Australia’s role as a global citizen

2007 Social Justice Sunday – 30 September
2007 Social Justice Sunday Statement (pdf)
text-only version (Word)

Letter from Archbishop Philip Wilson (pdf)

Sample Newsletter Editorial

Social Justice Sunday 2007Who Is My Neighbour?  This year’s Social Justice Sunday Statement, Who Is My Neighbour? Australia’s Role As A Global Citizen, is a challenge to us as Christians to take seriously our vocation to be signs of God’s promise of a better world. When leading Australian Jesuit, Professor Frank Brennan spoke at the launch of this year’s statement, he pointed to the Bishops’ emphasis on our privilege as citizens of a free an democratic society to use our gifts to make life better for those in the world who do not have the same gifts and opportunities as we do. He also stressed that the Bishops are not so much appealing to our feelings of guilt that others in the world face various deprivations and difficulties that we don’t, but, rather, to our sense of responsibility as neighbours who try to follow Jesus who taught us what it means to be a good neighbour. The statement is wide-ranging on the issues with which it deals – when it comes to our responsibilities as a nation and as individuals, being a good neighbour involves us thinking about our commitment to foreign aid and international development, about when and how we should militarily intervene in other parts of the world, about our response to climate change, and about our dealings with those who seek to come to our shores asking for protection from persecution and violence. These are all issues which have been or still are the subject of intense political debate in our country.  That does not mean they are “off limits” for us as Christians or for the Church as a whole.  On the contrary, because all these issues, in one way or another, have a bearing on the dignity of our neighbours, our fellow human beings, our brothers and sisters in the one, global human family, we have to say an do something!  All people, being created “in the image and likeness of God”, as the Creation story in Genesis tells us, have a dignity which cannot be violated.  If we don’t try to ensure that the human dignity of our sisters and brothers, at home and abroad, is protected and promoted, we are turning our backs on a principle which is at the heart of the message of Scripture and Church Teaching. So, in a positive spirit, the Bishops say we in Australia should be able to: 

  • Match the best in the developed world in terms of overseas aid and international development;

  • Deal with international disputes through the broadest international cooperation;

  • Use the cleanest and safest energy; and

  • Respond compassionately to the appeals for protection from those fleeing violence and persecution.

 Our bishops have issued a challenge to us as a nation and as individual citizens to be Good Samaritans in our responses to these important issues.  Their challenge also asks questions of us as local Catholic parishes and schools.  Who is our neighbour?  What do we do as a parish, as a school, to touch the less privileged lives of our sisters and brothers in parishes and schools in other parts of the world?Order form (pdf)
Summary (pdf)
Liturgy Notes (Word)
Teachers’Notes (Word)

1 thought on “Who Is My Neighbour? Australia’s role as a global citizen

  1. Kolawole Peter

    “Our bishops all over the world have issued a challenge to us as individual citizens to be Good Samaritans in our responses to these important issues”.

    Thank you To all our BISHOPS for all these awareness.
    Kolawole Peter
    JDPC St patricks Basorun Parish Ibadan


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s