Thursday, 16 December 2010

The bishops are very worried about....!

There are terrible things happening every day in this country: abortions, advocacy of error by priests (which in my view is at least as serious a crime as abortion, given that it imperils immortal souls leading to eternal death), plans to further undermine the family courtesy of the Greens, falling numbers of priests and more.

But what are our bishops "very worried about" to the degree that they put out a press release, under the name of Bishop Grech of Sandhurst, on it?

The prospect of a Government agreement with the Afghan Government to repatriate 300 Hazari afghani Muslims!

Pray for those who died or were injured in yesterday's shipwreck

Now I could have understood a press release today asking for prayers for the repose of the souls of asylum seekers who drowned off Christmas Island yesterday (please do pray for them), for the injured, and for their families. 

For that matter, given the bishops' long (though admittedly not entirely explicable) history of focus on refugee issues, I could have understood in the wake of that event (and the latest wikileaks revelations highlighting the obvious criticism of current approaches), a reiteration of calls for a general rethink of  our policy on asylum seekers.

And there obviously is a legitimate debate to be had around the Hazara people and Afghanistan, and whether it really is safe yet for them to return. 

Seeing the trees instead of the forest...

But is this really an issue for our bishops?  Should they really be worrying about every detail of refugee policy, particularly when it isn't even a matter of advocating on behalf of adherents of their own religion? 

There are plenty of refugee organisations out there, plenty of Muslim organisations out there, plenty of lay organisations out there who can look after issues of this kind.

Our bishops surely have problems enough a lot closer to their actual diocesan responsibilities to keep them busy. 


A Canberra Observer said...

Of course the point isn't that the forced repatriation of these people might be a bad thing.

The point is that the bishops remain studiously silent on so many other systemic maladies that have become de rigeur Australian life.

On a previous post, interesting that you have been singled out by the super-wet former editor of CathNews. Perhaps Eureka Street should suffer the ecclesiastical equivalent of the stockade ...

Terra said...

Yes, I said that there was a legitimate debate perhaps to be had. By someone.

Still, this is an issue surely of judgment based on the actual evidence on the current state of things in Afghanistan, not moral principle (unless of course the bishops are advocating that refugees, or even those who fail the refugee criteria, by virtue of managing to get here, be given an unresticted right to stay here...Yet Australia has no such international obliation).

Milly said...

good ole Charismatic Grech ! try living in is diocese !!