Monthly Archives: March 2009

Earth Hour Should Be Followed Up

Earth Hour

Earth Hour

Monday 30 March 2009

Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has urged Catholics to continue taking action to promote effective Government climate change policies.

The call was made following Earth Hour on Saturday 28 March when households and businesses were encouraged to turn off their lights for an hour to send a message about the need for strong and urgent action on climate change to Governments around the world.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that many Catholics would have joined community members around Australia by turning off their lights during Earth Hour.

“Pope Benedict, Pope John Paul II and Australia’s Bishops have encouraged Catholics to understand that caring for the earth is an important part of our faith,” Mr Arndt said.

“So, it is natural that many Catholics would have participated in Earth Hour as a way of acting to promote responsible management of our environment and earth’s resources,” he said.

“We hope that Catholics will try to continue to impress on our political leaders the need for strong action on the environment,” he said.

“Many Catholic parishes, schools and households are taking steps to reduce their contribution to the greenhouse gas pollution which has caused greatly accelerated climate change,” he said.

“Reducing use of electricity and other forms of energy, more responsible use of water and better waste management are some of the ways in which this is being done,” he said.

“We applaud these actions and encourage Catholics to continue their efforts to live more sustainably,” he said.

“However, we need Governments at all levels in Australia to develop policies which commit our nation to deeper cuts in greenhouse emissions so that our children and grandchildren will not have to deal with very serious environmental problems,” he said.

“We hope that the many Catholics who took part in Earth Hour will find the time in the coming months to keep sending messages to local MPs and the Federal and State Governments urging that strong and urgent action on climate change be taken,” he said.

“Serious long term problems like accelerated climate change will not go away but get much worse if we put them to one side to focus attention on serious short term problems like the current financial crisis,” he said.


“Governments must keep doing what is needed to effectively respond to the critical global warming problem while they are also helping people who have been caught up in the problems associated with the global financial crisis,” he said.

Mr Arndt said the Commission’s sustainability task group was working on initiatives to help parishes in their efforts to respond to the climate change crisis.

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.

Death Penalty Prayer for Good Friday

deathpenalty

Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission will hold a further vigil to pray for all those on death row around the world.

The prayer vigil will take place on Good Friday, April 10, at noon at Christ the King Church, Churchill Street, Graceville.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that the plight of Scott Rush, whose family is part of the local Corinda-Graceville Parish, will continue to be a special focus of the vigil.

“We want to pray for all those around the world who face execution, but we are especially conscious of the pain and suffering of Scott Rush and his parents, Chris and Lee,” Mr Arndt said.

“We are very grateful for the support given to us by Fr Tim Harris and the Corinda-Graceville Parish,” he said.

“There are some comments coming from Indonesia which suggest that the time for further appeals by Scott and other Australians on death row may be limited, but we are not sure if this is actually the case,” he said.

“We do know that the Australian Government is adopting a much more positive attitude to universal abolition of capital punishment and this is very welcome,” he said.

“We hope that Catholics will continue to find the time to approach our politicians to ensure that they are doing everything they can to stop the execution of Scott and everyone else on death row,” he said.

“But we also want everyone praying constantly for Scott and his family and for everyone else affected by a death sentence in Indonesia and around the world,” he said.

“The day when Jesus was executed is an appropriate day for us to remember all those also facing execution,” he said.

“For those of us who believe in the message of the crucified Jesus, the message of God’s mercy, compassion and forgiveness is vital,” he said.

“We appeal to Catholics to stand against the violence of the death penalty and to stand up for life,” 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.

Call for Action on Sri Lankan Conflict

Media Release

Monday 9 March 2009

Brisbane’s Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace has called on the Australian Government to work with other Commonwealth nations to put an end to the on-going conflict between Government forces and Tamil rebels in the north of Sri Lanka.

The long-running conflict has trapped between 100000 and 200000 civilians in the bloody battle zone and has caused thousands of deaths and injuries and a humanitarian crisis of significant proportions.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that Sri Lankans are distressed by the relative silence of the international community on this human tragedy.

“Our sister Commission for Justice and Peace in the Diocese of Jaffna has expressed its concern at the failure of world leaders and major organisations to speak out about the horrible violence, death and human suffering,” Mr Arndt said.

“This dreadful situation has not attracted the same attention as the human rights abuses suffered by the people of Burma and Tibet in the last year,” he said.

“The silence and inaction must stop so that the suffering of our Sri Lankan sisters and brothers can stop,” he said.

The Brisbane Commission is calling on Catholics to join it in sending messages to the Federal Government, local MPs and Senators calling for urgent action to end this human tragedy.

It has also asked Catholics to pray constantly for peace in Sri Lanka.

“We must do what we can to support our Sri Lankan sisters and brothers in this time of enormous suffering,” Mr Arndt said.

“We know that our sister Commission in Jaffna has worked hard with their prayers, rallies for peace, fasts and public statements and we will do what we can to support them,” 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.

Sri Lanka Action Sheet March 2009

Jaffna Diocese

Caritas Jaffna

Violence in Jaffna, justice and peace commission requests aid for the more than 25,000 refugees
by Melani Manel Perera (AsiaNews.It)