Monthly Archives: March 2008

Abolition of the Death penalty:Petition and Prayer Vigil

Death Penalty Abolition Petition to the Australian Senate asking it to take action to promote the abolition of the death penalty in all cases everywhere and to save the lives of Australians and people of other nationalities facing execution in countries such as Indonesia.

Please print as many copies as you need and ask people in your parish, school, workplace, organisation and community to sign the petition. Please return all signed petitions to the address at the bottom of the petition by April 30.

Prayer Vigil

 

The Catholic Justice & Peace Commission of Brisbane will hold a prayer vigil in support of all those on death row in Indonesia and in other parts of the world on Good Friday, 21 March, at 12 noon at Christ the King Catholic Church, Randolph Street, Graceville.

 

During the vigil, Lee and Chris Rush, parents of Scott Rush, who is still on death row in Indonesia, and Tanya Richards, Christian World Service Worker for Queensland Churches Together, who visited members of the Bali Nine on death row in Indonesia, will share their reflections on the plight of those who face the executioner.

 

All are welcome.

 

Garnaut ClimateChange Review Confronts Government and Church

Media Release


Monday 10 March 2008

The recently released interim report of Professor Ross Garnaut’s Climate Change Review confronts Governments and the whole Australian community with some serious challenges, according to Peter Arndt, the Executive Officer of Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission.

He said that the Church cannot ignore what the report says and that it must respond quickly and effectively along with governments and the community generally.

“Professor Garnaut tells us that the threat of dangerous climate change is much more significant than most of us realize,” Mr Arndt said.

“I think much more needs to be done to raise awareness of this in the community and amongst decision makers in all sorts of organisations in every sector of the community,” he said.

“His report also urges our Federal, State and Territory Governments to commit this year to a long-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least 60% by 2050,” he said.

“While the report suggests that even greater reductions than this may actually be necessary, Professor Garnaut believes that commitments must be made right now,” he said.

“We should all be making it clear to the Prime Minister that we want him to listen and act on this recommendation,” he said.

“The report also stresses the importance of our Federal, State and Territory Governments developing and implementing an effective emission strategy for the nation and we should also be telling Mr Rudd that we want urgent action on this too,” he said.

“Ratifying the Kyoto Protocol was a very important first step in Australia joining the international effort to effectively address the challenge of climate change, but Australia will have much more credibility in arguing for substantial global action if we practice what we preach,” he said.

“The same has to apply to the Church and individual Christians too,” he added.

“We have to add our voices to those of others in the community calling for urgent and substantial action, but we must try to get our own house in order if we are to be taken seriously,” he said.

“Church organisations, schools and parishes around the country are making an effort to become ecologically responsible communities and we need to continue to increase this commitment so that everyone in the Australian community understands that the Church is fair dinkum when it talks about the need to act urgently on climate change,” he said.

For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.

NB This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Charter which enables it to speak in its own right. The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.

Commission Launches Death Penalty Abolition Campaign

Monday 3 March 2008

Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has launched a campaign to urge the Australian Government to take strong action to convince our neighbours in the Asia/Pacific region to abolish the death penalty.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that the campaign responds, in particular, to the death sentences imposed on six Australians, including Brisbane man, Scott Rush, as a result of drug convictions in Indonesia.


“The Commission realizes that the lives of many people in Australia are being deeply affected by the imposition of these death sentences of six of the Bali Nine,” Mr Arndt said.


This campaign builds on the efforts of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council which launched a paper on the death penalty last December in the parish of Scott Rush’s family,” he said.


“We know that many Catholics responded strongly when Australian man, Van Nguyen, was sentenced to death and subsequently executed in Singapore a couple of years ago,” he said.


“We have no doubt that many people will be just as strongly opposed to the execution of Australian citizens this time around,” he said.


Archbishop Bathersby launched the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council’s death penalty paper at St Joseph’s Church, Corinda, last December.


“It is important to remind Catholics of Archbishop Bathersby’s warning that we have to be consistent in our opposition to the death penalty,” he said.


“At the launch of the death penalty paper last year, Archbishop Bathersby insisted that we have to oppose the death penalty being imposed, not only on Australians, but on people of every nationality,” he said.


“Neither Scott Rush nor the Bali Bombers should face the firing squad,” he said.


“Justice demands that serious crimes should result in serious sentences, but this should fall short of capital punishment,” he said.


The Commission’s campaign will run until Easter and will seek to engage Catholics in letter writing, petition signing, sending e-mails and prayer vigils.


“We will end this particular campaign on 25 March which is the anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), which includes teaching against the death penalty,” Mr Arndt said. ( see the action page for this campaign on the menu on the right hand side of this page)


“The Commission urges Catholics to think about what they can do to promote the Gospel of Life in our region,” he said.

For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.

NB This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Charter which enables it to speak in its own right. The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.