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The Political Community

Obama: climate hope – a turning point
President Obama took to the UN podium to tell the world: "The growing threat of climate change could define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other."  

Paris COP21 Australia still branded dunce
Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull may have convinced himself that the climate policy he is taking to Paris is "ambitious" and "credible", but he has got a lot of work to do to convince others, writes Giles Parkinson from Paris.  

A beginner’s guide to fossil fuel divestment
Divestment is the opposite of investment – it is the removal of your investment capital from stocks, bonds or funds. The global movement for fossil fuel divestment (sometimes also called disinvestment) is asking institutions to move their money out of oil, coal and gas companies for both moral and financial reasons.  

Top Vatican diplomat backs use of force in wake of Paris attacks
In the wake of ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks in Paris last month, the Vatican’s top diplomat has supported military intervention to disarm "an unjust aggressor" and also acknowledged that the Vatican itself could be a target "because of its religious significance." The Vatican’s secretary of state, Italian Cardinal. Pietro Parolin, made the comments in an interview with the French Catholic newspaper La Croix.  

Terrorism politics and faith – a Christian response
Advent prepares us to be the recipients of a divine generosity, which, as recent events around the world have demonstrated all too well, is so often lacking in our 'contemporary world of short-termist politics, terror and fear.' Revd Dr Yazid Said hopes that the eternal gift of God in Jesus will challenge us to transform society and the relationships that define it.  

Indigenous Australia

Handback of Uluru to traditional custodians commemorated
A ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of the return of Uluru to traditional owners has heard that they are struggling to make a living, despite the tourism icon generating strong income.  


Solidarity with West Papua
For the past 52 years, the people of West Papua have been subjected to gross human rights violations including rape, torture, cultural genocide, murder and massacre - more than 100,000 West Papuans have been killed. Many live in exile because it is not safe for them to go home.  

Human rights worsen in Papua
West Papua continues to be one of the regions of Asia most seriously affected by human rights violations and an unresolved long standing political conflict, says the International Coalition for Papua (ICP) of faith-based and civil society organisations. The living conditions of the indigenous Papuan peoples are in stark contrast to those of the trans- migrants from other parts of Indonesia.  

See also, Make Papua more accessible to journalists  

Jobs or health: a Cambodian choice
After an HIV outbreak in 2014 saw 264 people infected in the small northwest Cambodian village, aid flowed in, showily. The prime minister's wife delivered hundreds of kilos of rice, the health minister brought socks and sarongs, nongovernmental organizations came by with cash donations.

But a year after the mass infection was first detected, patients and their families are struggling to make ends meet.  

Francis at the heart of an ecological conversion
In mid August, we Jesuits in Timor-Leste were given parts of Laudato Si' to pray with during our eight-day retreat together. While I previously had an intellectual understanding of the need to respond to what we then called 'global warming', I did not have an affective understanding - a feeling in my heart - of my inherent relationship with my human family and our common home, the earth. That was about to change, writes Andy Nguyen SJ.  

Pope’s climate cardinal to visit Australia
With the Paris Climate Summit coming up on November 30, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga is in Australia this month to promote Pope Francis’ latest encyclical Laudato Si’. He says “some countries will not have a future’’ without transformational climate change action, reports The Australian.  

Prayer for our earth
…from Laudato Si’  

Book launch: The Intervention: an Anthology
In this historic anthology, award-winning writers Rosie Scott and Dr Anita Heiss have gathered together the work of twenty of Australian’s finest writers both Indigenous and non-Indigenous together with powerful statements from Northern Territory Elders to bring a new dimension and urgency to an issue that has remained largely outside the public radar.

To order go to

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.  



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.