7 September 2010
The Statement, "Violence in Australia: A message of peace", considers how the Christian values of forgiveness and reconciliation lead to peace and non-violent ways of addressing conflict and divisions - a challenging task when so much of Australian culture encourages aggressive attitudes, promotes the need to succeed at all costs, or fosters the desire for revenge.
The statement points out that whilst Australia is essentially a peaceful country, with strong traditions of fairness and justice, there are also deep roots of violence in the Australian story: the dispossession of the Aboriginal peoples, the violence of its convict history, and the strand of racism that has been directed at immigrants at different times.
The Bishops draw on the Gospels, social teachings of the Church and examples of individuals and groups working for peace in the Australian context, and highlight the role of all in making a difference for peace as individuals, as a community and as a nation.
They also make clear how radical and central are Jesus’ teachings about peacemaking in the Gospel.
The Statement which is available through the website of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council gives practical suggestions and poses important questions that will help individuals, parishes and groups as they consider how a disciples of Christ they might help bring peace to our world.