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Conflict Resolution 101: Talking with Hamas
The world waits with bated breath to see if a fragile truce in Gaza will lead to a long-term ceasefire. But if US mediation is to be sincere and effective, the American government needs to take Hamas off its terrorist list and allow Hamas to be fully represented at the table. 

A foreign surgeon looks back on a tumultuous time in Gaza
Norwegian emergency surgeon Dr Mads Gilbert ‘The heart of the Earth beats in Gaza now. It bleeds, but it beats.’ 
See also 

Washington limits arms transfers to Israel
The US-Israeli diplomatic relationship has reached new lows, the Times of Israel reports, with the White House and State Department last month tightening the reins on arms transfers to Israel, and blocking the delivery of a batch of Hellfire precision missiles. 

Ukraine's Catholic leaders back military campaign against Russia
The head of Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church has urged his countrymen ‘not to be afraid to defend their homeland’ as official military chaplains began work for the first time in the country since Communist rule and Russian forces announced a major border exercise, writes Jonathan Luxmoore for The Tablet. 

Insurgents disrupt medical services
Insurgent forces in eastern Ukraine have threatened medical staff, stolen and destroyed medical equipment and hospital furniture, and compromised the ability of civilian patients to receive treatment, Human Rights Watch said. 

The unjustified secrecy of the Abbott Government
The Abbott Government has withheld important information from the public on questionable grounds, and it has shielded itself from criticism by stifling debate on whether that secrecy is justified. 

French journalists arrested in Indonesia
Two French journalists were arrested on 6 August by Indonesian police for allegedly reporting on the separatist movement in restive Papua province. 

Bigotry pipped at the post
The Abbott Government's excuse for abandoning amendments to racial discrimination legislation is a furphy, Max Chalmers writes for New Matilda. 

Making migration secure
Pope Francis has appealed to the whole international community to develop new legal and secure forms of migration.  
See also Pray for refugees 

College seeks to end corporal punishment in Timor-Leste
A young teacher blames Timor-Leste’s violent past for brutality towards children saying that teaching is about how to best deal with students from families raised in the shadow of Timor-Leste's violent past as well as the transfer of knowledge. 

Thai junta told to probe alleged torture
Thai authorities should immediately and impartially investigate the alleged torture of an opposition activist in military custody, Human Rights Watch said. ‘Red Shirt’ activist Kritsuda Khunasen, 27, was secretly detained without charge at an unidentified military camp for four weeks in June 2014. 

Hunger strikers at Dhaka garment factory fall sick
At least 40 garment workers among 1500 in a mass hunger strike in the Bangladesh capital, Dhaka, have fallen sick as a tense standoff with factory managers entered a fourth day on Thursday (31 July) with no sign of resolution. 

Bangladesh’s fatal Rana Plaza collapse one year on
It’s been a year since the Rana Plaza textile complex collapsed, killing 1,135 workers and injuring more than 2,500, making it the worst industrial disaster in Bangladesh history. 

New Zealand bishops urge voter engagement
The Catholic Bishops of Aotearoa-New Zealand encourage people to use their vote in the 20 September election to defend the poor and vulnerable. 

Hiroshima and Nagasaki 69 years on
On 6 August the Japanese city of Hiroshima marked the 69th anniversary of the bombing and of Nagasaki on 9 August. Hiroshima’s mayor set the tone for efforts to build a world of genuine and lasting world peace.

Read his peace declaration here 

Japan bishops call for dialogue over war
‘We must not abandon the hope to avoid war and armed conflict through dialogue and negotiation. No matter how hard it seems, this is the only way to bring about peace among nations.’ Catholic Bishops Conference of Japan. 

The impact of the end of Christianity in the Middle East
The past decade has been catastrophic for the Arab world's beleaguered 12 million strong Christian minority. In Egypt revolution and counter-revolution have been accompanied by a series of anti-Copt riots, killings and church burnings. 

Promoting reconciliation in the troubled Middle East
The focus of the Light of Torah ministry is biblical reflection rather than political comment, but it is impossible for anyone interested in the Jewish-Christian relationship not to be deeply concerned by the troubles in the Middle East, especially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ) appeals to religious groups and personnel to appreciate the complexity of the discussion … [and] emphasises the importance of defining terms and of avoiding single-narrative rhetoric/practices which promote fear and insecurity in the ‘other.’ For instance the ICCJ paper outlines the diverse understandings (and misunderstandings) associated with use of the terms ‘Israel,’ ‘Holy Land,’ ‘Zionism,’ and ‘prophecy’ (see pp.8-12).

The paper also urges against “a binary way of thinking that insists that people must be either 'pro-Palestinian'or 'pro-Israel'. We espouse a 'pro-people' vision that is both pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian, precisely because dialogue demands that multiple narratives be heard.” 

Ignatian network promotes ethical consumption and investment
Australians need to educate themselves about the full cost of technology and resources – particularly in relation to disadvantaged communities, says Jesuit Social Services CEO Julie Edwards. 

World migrant and refugee day
In 2014 we celebrate the 100th World Migrant and Refugee Day. The Australian Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office has prepared a kit to help communities and individuals to celebrate. 

Sanctioned violence and relationships
Sister Clare Condon, Congregational Leader of the Good Samaritan Sisters, asks what sanctioned violence is doing to families and relationships in a talk next month in Sydney.

Clare’s address is part of ‘RightsTalk’, a series of public discussions on topical human rights issues hosted by the Australian Human Rights Commission. 

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.