Catholics should be signs of hope in the face of continuing harsh and cruel policies towards refugees and people seeking asylum, according to the Chair of the Brisbane Archdiocesan Justice & Peace Commission, Ms Maree Rose.
Ms Rose said the Commission was particularly concerned about the removal of income and accommodation support to hundreds of people seeking asylum in south-east Queensland. She also expressed concern about the plight of refugees who have been held on Nauru and Manus Island for many years.
“As Christians, we need to resist this cruelty with every fibre of our being,” Ms Rose said.
“We need to stand against these harsh, dehumanising policies spiritually, mentally and physically,” she added.
“So many politicians are exploiting fear in our community and are scapegoating refugees and people seeking asylum,” she said.
“As Christians, let’s resist this fear mongering with love and compassion for all in the same way as God does,” she said.
“Let’s not close in on ourselves but reach out in love, building relationships with people who come to our shores seeking peace and freedom,” Ms Rose added.
“Let’s offer support and practical assistance in the same way as many Catholics here and around Australia are already doing,” she said.
Ms Rose made these comments after leading the Commission’s contingent in this year’s Luminous Lantern Parade in the Southbank Parklands on June 7.
“We joined 40,000 people who were all as one in offering a warm welcome to migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum,” Ms Rose said.
“Catholics from various parishes joined us in being signs of hope and compassion,” she said.
“It was particularly touching to have a number of Muslim women from northern NSW join our contingent,” she said.
“It was a wonderful experience to be part of a group of people from different countries and faiths joining together as one in a show of hope and love,” Ms Rose said.
“World Refugee Day is June 20; let’s all make a commitment on this day to renew our efforts to fill our hearts with love and compassion for all people who come to our country seeking a new life,” she said.
For further information and comments, please contact Peter Arndt on 0409 265 476.