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Laudato si’ a seismic event
Laudato si’ has been billed by many as Pope Francis’ intervention in the climate change debate, but it is so much more than that, writes Damian Howard SJ for Thinking Faith. In this detailed analysis of the Pope’s first encyclical, he sets the text in its cultural and political context, and asks how it fits into the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.  

Towards a sustainable creation
The Pope’s document published [June 18] is not just for the benefit of the faithful, but has been deliberately timed to influence decision-makers at a trio of key United Nations summits this year culminating in the climate-change conference in Paris in December. For the United Nations, 2015 is a key year. The challenge is to reach potentially transformative agreements following each of three summits that will deliver meaningful change for people living in poverty and protect the environment.  

Protecting the environment: Pope fills leadership gap
Pope Francis is surely absolutely right that climate change raises vital moral and ethical issues.  

Refugees and Migrants

Internally displaced refugee figures top the lot
War and persecution have now displaced more people – 60 million – than at any other time in history.  

A tale of two children
The story of a young boy and girl forced to flee their homes, and how detention can be avoided in order to complete their migration status.  

Children do not deserve to be locked up
Every day thousands of children are locked up because they don't have the right documentation.  

Where refugees are fleeing and resettling
The crisis in Syria hugely impacted the refugee population’s flow in 2014. Syria overtook Afghanistan as the world’s top source of refugees after Afghanistan was the primary source for more than three straight decades.  

Former top judge says NZ’s response to Nauru weak
Nauru's former Chief Justice says New Zealand is continuing to support an unjust system and should speak more strongly against what he calls an appalling abuse of power.  

Indigenous Australia

A retrogressive indigenous advancement strategy
This month (July) sees the new budget allocations for Aboriginal communities take effect, with deep soul-destroying cuts being spun as 'advancement'. They reflect a redefinition of reality faced by many Australians, with indigenous people unsure how they have benefited from the Tony Abbott declaring himself the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and putting the Indigenous Affairs Office within his own Department, writes Michele Madigan for Eureka Street.  

The Political Community

Joseph Stiglitz: Greece and the vote
A no vote would at least open the possibility that Greece, with its strong democratic tradition, might grasp its destiny in its own hands. Greeks might gain the opportunity to shape a future that, though perhaps not as prosperous as the past, is far more hopeful than the unconscionable torture of the present.  

The IMF has failed Greece
If Greece is rejected by the financial elites, it might also want to consider rejecting many of their economic orthodoxies as well. If there is one lesson from the series of debt crises that have plagued weaker countries since the 1970s, it is that solutions only emerge when those country’s leaders stop playing by the rules imposed on them, writes David James for Eureka Street.  

Jesuit doco highlights Honduran injustice
A new documentary that explores violence and injustice in Honduras from the perspective of journalists at a Jesuit-run radio station was released late last month, coinciding with the 35th anniversary of Archbishop Oscar Romero's murder in neighbouring El Salvador.  

A smarter, more humane approach to crime that saves lives and builds safer communities.
Australia’s First Peoples are dramatically over-represented in prison statistics. ANTaR is campaigning to change this unacceptable situation and to end Aboriginal deaths in custody. Join us!  

Getting to know Catholic Social Teaching
For many years people have said that Catholic Social Teaching is our best kept secret, but I don’t think this is true anymore, writes Sandie Cornish.  

Social Justice & the Churches: Challenges & Responsibilities
Edited by John D'Arcy May
Professor Frank Brennan, Fr Max Vodola, Revd Gerald Rose, Revd Geoff Pound, Revd Raymond Cleary, Dr Mark Zirnsak, Major Jenny Begent, Fr Shenouda Boutros, and Margaret Coffey examine the social traditions of seven churches for today.
This book is available through Social Policy Connections for $25+$5 postage.
To order  

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.  

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.