Catholic Bishop Calls For Discussion On Refugees And Asylum Seekers

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16th October 2009, 07:23pm - Views: 656

People Feature Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 1 image

Media Release

October 16, 2009

Catholic Bishop calls for compassionate discussion about refugees

and asylum seekers

The low numbers of asylum seekers who enter Australia each year are not a

significant burden for a wealthy country such as ours, a Catholic Bishop said today.

Bishop Joseph Grech, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference delegate for

refugee and migrant issues, called on all Australians, including politicians, to stop and

think about asylum seekers and why they were seeking to escape their homeland.  

“While the assessment of each individual’s claim for refugee status must be left to the

formal process, we should all be aware of the incredible trauma being experienced by

many people in present and past war zones such as Sri Lanka, Afghanistan  and Iraq”,

Bishop Grech said.

“Not only does Australia have humanitarian obligations under UN Charters, but many

Australians are descendants of people who came to Australia to escape persecution in

their countries of birth. 

This can help us understand and open our hearts to those who are suffering.” 

“I am not suggesting that we can take everyone in the world, but we should

particularly look towards the needs of those in our immediate area of the world.  Let

us look at the reasons why these people have become asylum seekers and let us

encourage our government to talk to other governments in our region to offer

assistance to relieve such suffering”.

For media enquiries, please contact Beth Doherty on 0407 081 256.

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