28 November 2006


Concern for the preservation of democratic traditions and a just and compassionate society, has seen the emergence of new groups in Australia that are committed to the common good and the application of principles drawn from the Christian Social Justice tradition.

The Centre For An Ethical Society was launched by Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE in Sydney on Nov 21st . A few days later a symposium organized by the recently formed Social Policy Connections group in Melbourne on "Evaluating the G20 – key issues and the implications for us" addressed the issue of the implementation of the Millenium Development Goals. The Social Policy Connections group is closely allied to Polmin a political lobby group which has been active for several years with the aim of influencing public policy for the common good in accord with Catholic Social Justice principles.

Another analysis of the outcomes of the G20 meeting can be found at the Jubilee Australia website.

The emergence of these groups followed the launch of the Faith Doing Justice website in the same month, and taken together they indicate a depth of concern that has arisen at current directions of Australian society where economic concerns appear to be given priority over the human, the indiidual over the community, and where issues of fairness, compassion and the long term good are ignored.

These groups would also wish to re-assert that for a Christian the pursuit of social justice is an obligation and not just an option, an obligation that some would seek to deny or minimise.

Interestingly, a similar group Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good has also recently emerged in the United States with the aim of :-
"promoting the necessary conditions for a culture of life - a culture that reverences the dignity of the human person over greed, materialism, and the politics of division". It too aims "to be faithful to the Catholic tradition that calls us to participate actively in public life in the service of human dignity, social justice and the common good."

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