“It is important for the whole Church that the welcome of the poor and the promotion of justice are not entrusted to ‘specialists’, but that they are the focus of attention of all the pastoral work, of formation of future priests and other religious, of the normal commitment of all parishes, movements and ecclesial groups.”
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The focus for this year's Social Justice Statement is Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor. This is the start of a seven-year program by the Catholic Bishops of Australia following the call by Pope Francis to address the environmental and ecological problems before us.
Catholic Social Teaching draws on Scripture, tradition, reason and experience to address issues of social, economic and ecological justice. It provides principles for reflection, criteria for judgement and guidelines for action that help us to build up the Reign of God in the world. These teachings develop in dialogue with the people, places and events of history as the Church discerns and responds to the signs of the times.
In the modern period, this teaching is often communicated through encyclicals issued by Popes and Pastoral Letters by Bishops or groups of Bishops. Hence the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference teaches about social, economic and ecological issues in communion with the Pope. Their teachings address the Australian context more specifically and concretely than the international teachings could hope to do. Link to Australian Catholic Bishops' Social Justice Page.
Pope Francis, at the Centro Astalli Refugee Centre, Rome, 12 September 2013.
Pope Francis September 2021 Prayer Intentions
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Some simple steps we can take
POPE Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home” is a call for global action as well as an appeal for deep inner conversion.
He points to numerous ways world organisations, nations and communities must move forward and the way individuals – believers and people of goodwill – should see, think, feel and act.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Pray - give thanks to God for the goodness of creation; offer up our thanks and concerns in the Eucharist.
- Live simply - adopt a more sustainable lifestyle in our consumption of energy and resources.
- Tip the balance in favour of eco-friendly products - one percent every day is more than a 365% improvement each year.
- Build awareness - let our elected officials know the ecology is important, support eco-activist, encourage the young who can be particularly passionate and creative.
- Rest - when we rest we use less of everything, we challenge the frenetic pace, we feel the presence of God in creation and we become renewed.