The Pastoral Letter for the Feast of St Joseph the Worker for 2018 is entitled ‘An Australian Tradition of Reflection on Work’. For over twenty years now the Catholic Church in Australia has marked the Feast of St Joseph the Worker with a pastoral letter. In this Pastoral Letter, Bishop Terence Brady highlights the shame there is such a thing as low-wage poverty in Australia today. ‘Opinions may differ on what will best serve the common good, but let us remember that the common good is not served when vulnerable or disadvantaged people and groups are left out,’ he says. The pastoral letter looks at a number of key principles related to Catholic Social Teaching on work, including: a just wage; the value of unpaid work; the social wage; unemployment; an economy of inclusion; and knowing our tradition. The Pastoral Letter is available for download here.

The current Social Justice Statement is entitled ‘A Place to Call Home: Making a home for everyone in our land’. The ACSJC is still taking orders for the Statement. PDF and Word versions of the Statement as well as a range of print and multimedia resources are also available on the ACSJC website, here.

In this paper, Peter Arndt examines the issues faced by the indigenous people of West Papua and discusses their claim for freedom and independence. Peter has visited West Papua on several occasions, has met and spoken with people working for freedom and justice, and has heard their accounts of oppression and brutality on the part of police and security forces there. He places the struggle of the West Papuans in the context of the message of the Gospel and Catholic social teaching. ‘That deep reflection on Gospel values and Church teaching is what makes this publication so inspiring. Peter places his friends’ experience in the context of the Scriptures and looks deeply into the Church’s teachings on justice and asks what he must do. He discerns the answer with clarity and courage’ (Bishop Vincent Long, Chairman, ACSJC). To find out more and to order, visit here.

This paper examines Australia’s economic policies and their effect on the most vulnerable and expands on themes in the Australian bishops’ 2017–18 Social Justice Statement. ‘An Economy that Works for All’ discusses the serious effects of growing inequality, described by the International Monetary Fund as ‘the defining challenge of our time’. Author Joe Zabar, of Catholic Social Services Australia, also summarises the history behind Australia’s current economic policies and the responses of internationally recognised economists and institutions. He proposes ways in which marginalised and excluded Australians can be helped to share in the fruits of our prosperity. To find out more and to order, visit here.

The book, Building Bridges: Social Justice Statements from Australia’s Bishops 1988 to 2013, brings the Statements together in an attractive and readable format. The publication is fully indexed, making this an exceptional resource for education and research. It offers an invaluable insight into Catholic social teaching brought to life in an Australian context over the past 26 years. This collection is a vital resource for anyone interested in the Church’s teaching on justice. It is of special interest to schools and universities and to parish and diocesan groups.
Building Bridges is available from the ACSJC for $35.00 per copy including postage anywhere in Australia. Order forms are available here.
(Catholic Social Justice Series papers: $7.50 a copy, including postage)


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