For a full copy of the Newsletter for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time please click on the link; Ordinary Time 26th Sunday 30092018
This weekend is Social Justice Sunday and to mark the occasion the Australian Catholic Bishops have released their Social Justice Statement titled A Place to Call Home: Making a home for everyone in our land. With housing affordability continuing to be in the news and an issue for so many Australians, the statement confronts the growing challenge of homelessness and housing insecurity in Australia.
The latest Census figures show that more than 116,000 Australians are homeless – something unacceptable for a rich and well-resourced nation like ours. Yet these people are only the tip of the iceberg. St Vincent de Paul and other welfare agencies report growing numbers of families and individuals struggling to meet the cost of mortgages or rents and turning to specialist housing services, which are often unable to meet demand.
The Scriptural basis of the Statement is Luke 10:30–35, Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. The parable is about an outsider who does something that rich and influential men refuse to do: he stops to help a man in desperate need, takes him to safety and pays for his care. The Statement also draws on the example of Pope Francis, who has reached out to men and women on the streets of Rome and reminded us forcefully of the rights of people experiencing homelessness around the world.
Our Bishops consider the extent of the housing crisis and Australia’s falling rates of home ownership. They focus especially on those in our society who are most vulnerable to housing insecurity and homelessness. We are reminded that safe and secure housing is a human right, asserted both by the Church’s social teaching and by the Declaration of Human Rights.
Homelessness is a challenge for all levels of society: for government, for Church and community, and for us as individuals. Each one of us can make a difference and, when we join with others, we can be a real force for change that ensures everyone has a place to call home.
Copies of the full Social Justice Statement are available at the doors of the Cathedral or you are invited to go to their webpage www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au where you can view this year’s statement and access a wide range of resources.
Fr Peter Brannelly