Dear friends,

Social Justice Sunday this year falls on 29 September.

The Office for Social Justice and the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council are preparing for the launch in September of the Australia Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement for 2019–2020.

This year’s Statement is titled Making it Real – Genuine human encounter in our digital world. It affirms the positive possibilities for encounter and solidarity offered by new digital media, while warning of those elements of our digital world that may be harmful.

Some of the key challenges include information overload; social isolation; the objectification and marginalisation of the vulnerable; consumerism and fake news.

The Statement reminds us that the new digital media cannot be seen as neutral or ‘unaffected by any moral considerations’.  While many users do not realise it, the core business of social media platforms is to sell advertising and maximise profits. People’s personal lives may be reduced to data that is traded for profit or power, and it is used to target and influence us in ways previously unthinkable. Pushing users to more extreme positions and promoting fake news and conspiracy theories sells, but this is at odds with human solidarity.

The Statement amplifies Pope Francis’ call to us to ‘boldly become citizens of the digital world’, with the image of the Good Samaritan as our inspiration. We are called not only to love our neighbour, but to bring the love of God to the new global neighbourhood. The Statement points out that we are called not just to be inhabitants of this new digital world, but active citizens shaping it.

All of us – whether we are users, communities, industrial or political leaders – have a role to play in rejecting hatred, divisions and falsehoods. We have a duty to foster a neighbourhood that promotes those human attributes and social values that lend themselves to genuine human encounter – love, understanding, beauty, goodness, truth and trustworthiness, joy and hope.

To Order
For your convenience, and to improve efficiency, we are now offering online ordering. I really recommend this new service to you. You can pre-order the Statement now at the Office for Social Justice online store: bit.ly/socialjusticeshop. Please note that the Statement and related Social Justice Statement products are sold in packs of ten.

Alternatively, you can use the pdf order form if you would prefer to place your order in the traditional fashion. Order form and cost details can be found on the ACSJC website or call (02) 8306 3499.

Other resources that are very useful in parishes and schools are the Social Justice Sunday Prayer Card and ‘Ten Steps’ leaflet. These can also be ordered online or using the hard copy order form.

Social Justice Sunday – Complementary Resources
The Office for Social Justice produces a range of complementary resources to assist parish communities, schools and social justice groups to celebrate Social Justice Sunday.

Among the resources that will be available on the ACSJC website over the coming months will be:

• Social Justice Sunday Liturgy notes
• PowerPoint  and video presentations
• Educational resources

Promotion
The Bishops would welcome promotion of the Statement in the weeks leading up to Social Justice Sunday. A possible entry in your parish bulletin or newsletter could be:


We celebrate Social Justice Sunday on 29 September

We celebrate Social Justice Sunday on 29 September. This year, the Australian Bishops’ Social Justice Statement is titled: ‘Making it Real: Genuine human encounter in our digital world’. It shares Pope Francis’ challenge to us to ‘boldly become citizens of the digital world’.  It points out that we are called not just to be inhabitants of this world, but active citizens shaping it.

For further details about the Social Justice Statement, visit the Office for Social Justice website (www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au) or call (02) 8306 3499. Order the Statement online at: bit.ly/socialjusticeshop  Follow us on Facebook: @socialjusticeACBC or Twitter: @JusticeCatholic


Any assistance you can give in spreading the word about Social Justice Sunday and the Bishops’ Statement would be greatly appreciated. 

John Ferguson
Director
Office for Social Justice, ACBC

  

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