Posted on September 29, 2013, in Culture and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Wow Father Chris! Just this morning it was on my hear to pray for Tony Abbott. I was reflecting on the homily I heard last night about Lazarus and the rich man as well as the state of asylum seekers attempting to reach safety in our country. All I could do was pray that Jesus would speak to the heart of Tony, imploring him for greater compassion and courage as he leads this country. I hope your letter reaches him and stirs him to a greater show of Jesuit social justice. Jo

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Thanks for posting your letter on your blog Fr Chris. I appreciate the ability to reconsider these issues and to comment some of my thoughts in return.

    I too share your concern for the policies and how we are treating those in the world in a less fortunate position than us, but would like to humbly pose some questions I have.

    Firstly, the new government sees the budget position as in a perilous state. I happen to agree and obviously the previous government did not. But given this, I think you could argue that it is better to get our own house in order and return the country to a better position financially, return it to strong growth and then in fact be able to increase our giving beyond what it might otherwise have been. Perhaps you don’t agree but I think there is a reasonable argument to this.

    On the issue of refugees, I feel really bad about those who try to get here but will now be turned around. I can see that the government is taking this hard line, which you think is overly hard, and I can understand that, in order to deter people from making a perilous trip and lining the pockets of smugglers.

    It is an issue I wrestle with and wish I knew more about, but as best I can make out there are tens of millions of refugees waiting to find a better place to live. Obviously we cannot take them all and so we must decide how many to take. Personally I don’t understand why our arguments are less about people who arrive by boat and more about why we aren’t looking at uping our intake of refugees from places like Syria or Pakistan. To my mind we should shut down the borders as is being done, but up the number of refugees we take directly from the greatest source of need. This conversation doesn’t even seem to be being had. I think Australia needs to do its bit and agree perhaps we are under doing this a bit, but this is hard to even tell given the info fed to us by politicians and the media.

    I suspect we are all not seeing the full story on this and given the PM’s background I think he is making these decisions, which are in his mind the best for all parties and have a good level of compassion. I do welcome your letter to him though as his positions must be tested and the discussions should be had.

  3. “Australia’s incoming Prime Minister Tony Abbott says his Catholic faith does not determine his politics in any way… “This is why I think that it is essential that someone of faith understands that while faith is a splendid thing in private life it can often be quite a misleading guide in public life,” he said.”

  4. Just in response to Dave Morgan, I see your point about waiting until our own house is in order, and I empathise. Our health system, our education system, infrastructure… so many things that desperately need attention, and, funding. But then I look at these asylum seekers, and they have nothing. And as a wife and mother, I wonder how it must feel to have only the shirt on your back.

    My family is poor, we can’t afford to buy property, we budget carefully to have enough from month to month. My husband is a migrant and has not been able to get his skills recongised in Australia, so he works for the minium wage in a different field, casual hours, with no super, no sick pay, and no holiday pay. We are ok though, and we are happy. Each week in church, it is tempting when the offering plate comes around to say to ourselves that “charity begins at home”, but, I don’t have to look very far to see people who are worse off than me. We won’t wait until we are better off to help these people, because we may never be better off, and these poor people need help now.

  5. a wonderful letter, keep plodding on and with your Christian attitude, God will carry you in difficult times. Go well

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