Tag Archives: community

Commission Says Sorry Day Still Needs to Be Marked

Monday 18 May 2009

Sorry (Tony Albert)

Sorry (Tony Albert)

Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has urged Catholics to continue to commemorate National Sorry Day on 26 May.

National Sorry Day has been marked on this day each year since the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s Bringing Them Home Report was handed to the Federal Government in 1997.

The report details the Commission’s findings from an inquiry into the policy of forcible removal of Indigenous children from their families and communities over much of the twentieth century.

The Day precedes National Reconciliation Week which runs from the anniversary of the 1967 referendum on May 27 when Indigenous people were recognized as citizens and the anniversary of the High Court’s recognition of native title in the Mabo Case on 3 June.

The Brisbane Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that Indigenous people place great importance on National Sorry Day because it gives them an opportunity to remember the grief and loss they have suffered as a result of the policy.

“Despite the momentous apology of the Federal Parliament to members of the Stolen Generations on 13 February 2008, there is still much healing to be done,” Mr Arndt said.

“There is still much pain and trauma for many Aboriginal people because of this practice,” he said.

“The Federal Government recognized this fact when they announced the establishment of a Stolen Generations Healing Foundation on the first anniversary of the apology this year,” he said.

“There will be a number of National Sorry Day ceremonies at Bringing Them Home Plaques around Brisbane and at various locations in South-East Queensland on the day and we would encourage Catholics to join with Indigenous people in remembering the pain and making commitments to be a part of the healing process,” he said.

“We would also hope that parishes and schools around the Archdiocese will mark the day in some way,” he said.

“Despite the apology, there is still a lot of ignorance about the forcible removal policies and this must be addressed,” he said.

“The Bringing Them Home Home Report recommended education about the practice in schools and for a range of professionals who work with Indigenous people,” he said.

“We cannot come to terms with the on-going effects of the trauma of forcible removal unless we know the history,” he said.

“Teachers, police, lawyers, social workers, doctors and nurses all need to know what happened so they can understand why there are problems for some Indigenous people,” he said.

“We ask Catholics to read summaries of the Bringing Them Home Report and look at its recommendations,” he said.

“When you read the recommendations, it becomes very clear that there is still so much more that needs to be done,” he said.

“We must also keep asking Governments why they reject recommendations that affected people receive reparations payments,” he said.

“The Tasmanian Government has established a standard for the Federal Government and other State and Territory Governments in making reparations payments to members of the Stolen Generations a couple of years ago,” he said.

“We should all be asking the Federal Government and our own Queensland Government to follow Tasmania’s example,” 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.

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.