Social Justice Statement tackles globalisation of indifference
Australia’s Catholic bishops have launched the 2013-2014 Social Justice Statement, arguing that with a change in government, Australians must not have a change in heart in their commitment to act on issues such as poverty, the environment, Indigenous people, ageing and inequality.
Launching the statement, Bishop Greg O’Kelly said that while the number of desperately hungry people in the world had halved since the Millennium Development Goals were released in 2000, much remains to be done, as millions more are still in need.
‘Once we understand that these people are individuals, we must respond to their need as individuals’, Bishop O’Kelly said.
‘Organisations including Caritas, Catholic Mission, Jesuit Refugee Service and countless other groups cannot do their work without the individual generosity of people who are willing to offer their time, skill and money.’
Executive Officer of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, John Ferguson, said that under the Coalition policy, Australia would spend only 32 cents of every $100 of gross domestic income on foreign aid, less than half the international standard for developed countries of 0.7 per cent.
‘Twenty per cent of the world’s poorest live in our region. It’s clear that Australia is the rich man and Lazarus is at our gates,’ Mr Ferguson said.
By Alex McGilvray, Year 10 at the Academy of Mary Immaculate, Victoria