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Young Catholics reach out to Solomons
Severe flooding in the Solomon Islands helped give extra meaning to the 6,000 young people taking part in the Caritas Challenge throughout New Zealand at the beginning of April.  

Meanwhile, with upcoming elections in the Solomons, will those recovering from last week’s flash floods be stranded on someone’s political agenda?  

The role of structure and infrastructure in disaster reduction
As the Solomons people survey their flood-ravaged islands, communities in the Philippines are strategising to become better prepared for the next typhoon after Haiyan killed more than 5,000 last November.  

Seven major life changes due to climate change
The United Nations has released a ‘pretty gloomy’ new global warming report that has already got the world talking, including climate change deniers saying some bizarre things in attempts to discredit the findings.  

Sri Lankan clergy appeal for UN enquiry into abuses amid Australian opposition
Diplomats preparing for the 25th United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva have expressed concern Australia is working to ‘actively undermine’ a push for an international inquiry into human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, because of the government's eagerness to cooperate with that country's leaders on asylum seekers, according to media reports.  

Large rally expected to support asylum seekers
Retired Bishop Pat Power, of Canberra and Goulburn, said a Palm Sunday rally in Canberra to support refugees will be an opportunity for the wider community to give expression to 'what's deep in the heart of many,' reports The Canberra Times.  

Sydney schools offer bursaries for refugees
Growing unease with Australia’s treatment of asylum-seekers, particularly the locking up of children in detention centres, has prompted one of the largest Catholic school systems to offer free education to refugee students, reports The Australian.  

Homeless young people need the means to flourish
Curing homelessness is not simply a matter of finding homes for disadvantaged people. With backgrounds of family dysfunction, broken schooling, physical and mental illness and addiction, homeless young people come to the attention of many government departments. For all the goodwill involved, the effect of piecemeal interventions is to confuse young people who feel themselves the object of care, not the subject of their own growth.  

Indonesian presidential candidate slammed over Timor-Leste abuses
A human rights group has criticised the presidential candidacy of a former Indonesian general who has been accused of widespread human rights abuses in Timor Leste and several Indonesian provinces.
Prabowo Subianto commanded Indonesia’s special forces from 1980 to 1998 and is said to have been the architect of the 1991 massacre at the Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili.  

Going back to serve my people
In the village of Popa on Myanmar’s central plains, a young Burmese woman is fulfilling her dream of opening a pre-school for children desperate for an education.  

Rwanda: Justice after genocide 20 years on
On the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Human Rights Watch stands in solidarity with the victims and with those who survived. The Rwandan genocide was exceptional in its brutality, in its speed, and in the meticulous organisation with which Hutu extremists set out to destroy the Tutsi minority.  

Finding slavery-free chocolates for Easter
The hunt for slavery-free Easter eggs is on! In the last few weeks, slavery free campaigners have been out and about looking for ethically sound chocolate. They have reported that Aldi has large stocks of UTZ certified chocolate, including a reasonably priced pack of small eggs, while Coles is selling Fairtrade rabbits for less than $2.00.  

ERC Asylum Seekers and Refugees
An education resource with activities for students, focusing on real people and their stories.
The resource is available to download at no cost. For information call 02 8762 4200 or go to

End gender-based violence
With an estimated up to two million people, mostly women and children, trafficked annually for prostitution, forced labour, slavery or servitude, the United Nations’ UNiTE campaign focusing on ending violence against women and children has called for a focus on this issue on the 25th of every month.  

Were you there...
By Sandie Cornish
This recording was made at the Pitt Street Uniting Church in Sydney during an ecumenical service praying for refugees and asylum seekers.  

Let the Son Shine
An Australian Catholic response to climate change

The words 'climate change' are on many people’s lips. Scientific evidence has convinced many that humans are largely responsible for this change and must act urgently to address it. Others have been shocked out of complacency and into reflection by fickle weather conditions, ranging from recent hurricanes in New Orleans to a ten-year drought throughout Australia. So says Columban Fr Charles Rue in a new release, Let the Son Shine  

The Call to Justice in Scripture
How do you experience the Scriptures calling you to live justly? This PowerPoint can be used for personal reflection or as stimulus material for group discussion. Reflecting on The Call to Justice in Scripture  



Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Major International Catholic Social Teaching Documents

Key Principles

Human Dignity
Each person, made in the image and likeness of God, has an inalienable and transcendent human dignity which gives rise to human rights.

The Common Good
We are called to work for conditions which ensure that every person and group in society is able to meet their needs and realize their potential.

The people or groups most directly affected by a decision or policy should have a key decision making role.

We can only grow and achieve our potential in relationship with others. Solidarity encourages us to commit ourselves to the common good.