17 September 2009


In a statement for this year's Social Justice Sunday the Bishops of Australia have pledged their support for young people's commitment to social justice, reasserting last year's World Youth Day central theme of witnessing through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The statement notes that ”Jesus was vitally concerned with what divided society and caused human impoverishment. He challenged many of the norms and social structures that oppressed, alienated or undermined the dignity of people. His ministry to establish the Kingdom of God was certainly concerned with personal conversion but also with liberating people from unjust structures” and points out that ”We share in the ministry of Jesus because we too have been anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit and are called to be his witnesses. We are all really responsible for each other and must work for social conditions that allow individuals and families to meet their needs and realise their full potential.”

The challenge presented by the Pope to young people during World Youth Day is repeated. ”What will you leave to the next generation? What difference will you make? “ although it also notes that this challenge is directed not just to young people but to all people of faith and to all Australians.

The statement addresses several particular issues, including the plight of Indigenous youth, those excluded from employment, the issue of mental health and the prevention of abuse; concerns for the environment, global justice and development.

It is available for download at the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council website.

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