Home' The Southern Cross : June 2014 Contents Page 2 June 2014
10 Living Catholic
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Putting people first
Catholic bishops from Australia, New Zealand,
Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and the
Pacific island nations have appealed to the
leaders of Australia and PNG to review their
regional resettlement arrangement and develop
a more humane approach to asylum seekers
attempting to reach Australian shores.
Following on from strong statements from
the Australian and PNG Catholic bishops, the
Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences
of Oceania passed a motion on the asylum
seeker issue at its assembly general meeting in
Wellington, New Zealand, on May 15.
Archbishop Philip Wilson, who was recently re-
elected vice president of the Australian Catholic
Bishops Conference, joined the ACBC president
Archbishop Denis Hart in representing Australia at
the Federation meeting which is held every four
Archbishop Wilson said the PNG bishops and the
Bishop of Tarawa in Nauru had grave concerns
about the detention centres within their countries
and the effects of these on the local populations
of Manus Island and Nauru.
Bishop Eugene Hurley, from Darwin, spoke about
the desperate situation of detainees in Australian
The statement by the Australian Catholic
Bishops Conference on asylum seekers is
available at www.adelaide.catholic.org.au/
Bishops defend asylum seekers
MILESTONE: The 130th anniversary of the St Vincent de Paul Society’s work in South Australia
was celebrated by about 700 people attending Mass in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on May 11.
Held on the eve of National Volunteers Week, the congregation heard of the countless hours
that volunteers give to the work of Vinnies each year. State President Brian Spencer thanked
Archbishop Philip Wilson for the support of the Church along with benefactors, volunteers and
staff for their continued commitment in assisting people facing disadvantage and marginalisation.
He also acknowledged the volunteers’ families who gave the Society “incredible” support.
Pictured with the official aggregation of the Society’s first conference in SA are, from left: David
Wark CEO, Brian Spencer State President, Jenny Papps and Archbishop Wilson.
Pope Francis has paid tribute to a
Dutch Jesuit priest, Father Frans
van der Lugt, who was killed by an
unknown gunman in the besieged
Syrian city of Homs in April.
Pope Francis said the assassination
of the 75-year-old priest “filled me
with deep sadness and made me
think again of all the people who
suffer and are dying in that martyred
country”, reports the Catholic News
Fr Frans arrived in Syria 50 years
ago and “always did his best for
everyone with graciousness and
love, and so was loved and held in
esteem by Christians and Muslims,”
the Pope said.
He had refused to leave war-torn
Syria, instead staying in Homs to
help the poor and homeless.
He was beaten and killed with
two bullets to the head on April 7,
according to the Jesuits' Middle
“From my heart, I ask you all to join
my prayer for peace in Syria and in
the region,” Pope Francis said, “and
I launch a heartfelt appeal to Syrian
leaders and to the international
community: Silence the weapons!
Put an end to the violence! No more
war! No more destruction!”
Fr Frans became known around the
world after appealing for aid for the
people of the besieged city of Homs
in a video posted on YouTube in late
Once home to an estimated 60,000
Christians, fewer than 30 remain
in the Old City sector of Homs,
an ancient town that was a rebel
stronghold in the early days of the
three-year-old Syrian uprising.
mourns slain priest
Click here to check out the Archbishop’s Facebook page for
postings on events and matters of interest.
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