Monthly Archives: June 2008

Commission To Hand Over Death Penalty Petitions in Prayer Service

Media Release

Commission To Hand Over Death Penalty Petitions in Prayer Service

Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission will deliver a death penalty abolition petition to Queensland Senator Claire Moore next Tuesday 1 July at a prayer service at Holy Cross Catholic Church, Wooloowin.

The petition has been signed by over 2000 people from parishes in the Archdiocese and from around the country.

Senator Moore will lodge the petition in the Senate at its next sitting and will seek to speak to the issue on that day.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that it was important for Catholics to continue their participation in efforts to abolish capital punishment in Indonesia and around the world.

“For those who have made a commitment to this cause, it is important to remain active in the long term,” Mr Arndt said.

“The continuing use of the death penalty around the world invites Catholics to commit to solidarity with those whose human dignity is threatened by the prospect of the death penalty being imposed and carried out,” he said.

“Solidarity is one of the four universal principles of Catholic Social Doctrine and is something which the Gospel calls us to put into practice when we see the dignity of our fellow human beings being abused,” he said.

“Solidarity is about standing with those who face the indignity of poverty or injustice and doing this in the long term,” he said.

“It also means being prepared to face unpleasant consequences as a result of this commitment,” he said.

“There are some people who strongly disagree with our opposition to the use of the death penalty in cases like those of the Bali Bombers and that of the three Australians convicted of drug offences in Bali,” he said.

“All these six men have committed very serious offences and, in fact, have been responsible for the deaths or suffering and misery of many other people,” he said.

“But the Church must defend the value of human life if it is to be faithful to the Gospel,” he said.

“Revenge and retribution cannot be in the vocabulary of Christians who follow the example of Jesus,” he said.

“Those who have done serious wrong must face serious consequences, but this should not include death at the hands of the State,” he said.

“The Commission will continue to offer opportunities for more action on the death penalty and especially at the time when our petition is lodged in the Senate,” he said.

“We have had contact with members of the cross-Party parliamentary Working Group working on the death penalty and they are very keen to support our efforts,” he added.

The Commission’s death penalty prayer service will begin at 7.30 p.m. at Holy Cross Church, 28 Chalk Street, Wooloowin. All are welcome.

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.

Brisbane Group Calls for Zimbabwe Support

Brisbane Group Calls for Zimbabwe Support

Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has helped to form a group which aims to rally support for the human rights of the people of Zimbabwe.

Australians Supporting Zimbabwe will hold a public Walk for Peace in Zimbabwe this weekend to draw attention to the plight of Zimbabweans in the period leading up to the Presidential run-off election on 28 June.

Images of the Walk may be viewed here.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that many Australians are not aware of how much violence and intimidation is being used by forces loyal to President Robert Mugabe to stop people from voting for his opponent, Movement for Democratic Change Leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

“Zimbabwe is in a state of almost total economic and social collapse and the people are suffering immensely,” Mr Arndt said.

“Many people are without jobs, homes or sufficient food and their lives are very desperate,” he said.

“We know that groups of war veterans and young men have been sent out to various parts of the country to unleash horrible violence and destruction on those who might support Mr Tsvangirai,” he said.

“Not even Members of Parliament are safe from this violence and intimidation,” he said.

The father of one of our local Brisbane group’s members, Ian Kay, has been arrested and is in leg irons and other influential MPs are being hunted down too,” he said.

“It is a truly horrifying and appalling situation in which there is no respect for human rights, democracy or justice,” he said.

The Walk for Peace in Zimbabwe will be held this Sunday 8 June from 10.00 a.m. It will commence at the Nepalese Peace Pagoda in the Cultural Forecourt of Southbank and will proceed to Davies Park, West End, where there will be speakers, African food and music.

Those who want to enjoy the African food and music are being asked to donate money towards an appeal which will provide emergency assistance to those caught up in the current violence and to public campaigns promoting democracy and justice in Zimbabwe.

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

Walk for Peace Rally pdf Flyer

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.

Women of Zimbabwe Unite

Zimbabwean Dissidents Unite in Prayer for Peace
New Flickr group — Zimbabwe: Peace, Justice, Freedom and Democracy